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Gate of Hell (1953) More at IMDbPro »Jigokumon (original title)


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Release Date:
10 December 1954 (USA) See more »
The Most Honored Screen Import in a Decade!
A samurai pursues a married lady-in-waiting. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Won Oscar. Another 6 wins & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Loyalty See more (21 total) »


  (in credits order)
Kazuo Hasegawa ... Moritoo Endô

Machiko Kyô ... Kesa
Isao Yamagata ... Wataru Watanabe
Yatarô Kurokawa ... Shigemori
Kôtarô Bandô ... Rokurô
Jun Tazaki ... Kogenta
Koreya Senda ... Gen Kiyomori
Masao Shimizu ... Nobuyori
Tatsuya Ishiguro ... Yachûta
Kenjirô Uemura ... Masanaka
Gen Shimizu ... Saburôsuke
Michiko Araki ... Mano
Yoshie Minami ... Tone
Kikue Môri ... Sawa
Ryôsuke Kagawa ... Yasutada
Shinobu Araki ... Iesada
Kunitarô Sawamura ... Moritada
Kanji Koshiba ... Munemori
Fujio Harumoto ... Kanefusa
Taiji Tonoyama ... Kakisuke
Hiroshi Mizuno ... Otoami
Shôzô Nanbu ... Sadafusa
Shintarô Nanjô ... Tanenari
Toshiaki Konoe ... Masazumi
Ryûzaburô Mitsuoka ... Sadachika
Eigorô Onoe ... Kunitsune
Kan Ueda ... Oil salesman
Seishirô Hara ... Mitsusada
Sumao Ishihara ... Pot salesman
Saburô Date ... Tomoyuki
Omenosuke Ichikawa ... Priest
Tominosuke Hayama ... Peddler
Yukio Horikita ... Heita
Takaji Fukui ... Naganobu
Fumihiko Yokoyama ... Giheiji
Akira Shimizu ... Yoshiharu
Tôgo Ônami ... Tadatsuna
Kazue Tamaki ... Nariie
Masayoshi Kikuno ... Yoshitomo
Jun Fujikawa ... Tsunetsugu
Tadashi Iwata ... Takahira
Kiyoshi Takikawa ... Tomomori
Toshio Chiba ... Michizane
Tokio Oki ... Tadamitsu
Eiichi Kusumoto ... Koreaki
Hajime Koshikawa ... Cowboy
Hachirô Ôkuni ... Low-rank man

Directed by
Teinosuke Kinugasa 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Kan Kikuchi  play "Kesa's Husband"
Teinosuke Kinugasa  writer
Masaichi Nagata  writer

Produced by
Masaichi Nagata .... producer
Original Music by
Yasushi Akutagawa 
Cinematography by
Kôhei Sugiyama 
Film Editing by
Shigeo Nishida 
Production Design by
Hiroshi Ozawa 
Art Direction by
Kisaku Itô 
Set Decoration by
Kosaburô Nakajima 
Costume Design by
Shima Yoshizane 
Makeup Department
Ritsu Hanai .... hair stylist
Toshikazu Noguchi .... makeup artist
Production Management
Tomeo Adachi .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Kenji Misumi .... first assistant director
Art Department
Clément Hurel .... poster artist
Akira Naitô .... assistant art director
Uichirô Yamamoto .... property master
Sound Department
Yukio Kaihara .... sound
Sakae Nagaoka .... sound recordist
Shôhei Miyauchi .... fight choreographer
Camera and Electrical Department
Heizô Honda .... assistant camera
Yasuo Iwaki .... lighting technician
Shonojo Kato .... gaffer
Kan'ichi Saitô .... still photographer
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Goro Hisamitsu .... costumer
Editorial Department
Mitsuzô Wada .... color consultant
Music Department
Keiko Nakanoshima .... koto music
Akikuni Yasuda .... biwa
Other crew
Miyoko Akiyama .... archivist
Kenji Hisamatsu .... stage manager
Goro Hisamitsu .... background design
Narumoto Honma .... measurements
Hiroshi Imai .... measurements
Michio Midorikawa .... technical advisor
Seichirô Ogura .... background design
Kaoru Uno .... movement director

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Jigokumon" - Japan (original title)
See more »
86 min
Color (Eastmancolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Did You Know?

Visa de contrôle cinématographique France : #15760(subtitled version) or #15760/D (dubbed version).See more »
Kesa:[after Moritoo grabs her in a strong embrace] What are you doing?
Moritoo Endô:You refuse no matter what?
Moritoo Endô:Then I'm ready. You're mine now!
Kesa:No matter what you say, female virtue won't allow it.
Moritoo Endô:Drop your husband. Leave Wataru.
Kesa:I can't do that.
Moritoo Endô:Why can't you? I, Moritoo, will slay Wataru. I won't stop with Wataru. If needed, your aunt too. I might have to kill you too!
Kesa:[the camera moves in for an intense close-up of Kesa] Are you ready to do all that? Do you want me that much?
Moritoo Endô:I want you. I can't live without you. What do you say? Can't you grant my wish? Eh? Why don't you answer? Do you want Wataru, yourself, and your aunt all dead? Kesa! It all depends on your answer now.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in The 79th Annual Academy Awards (2007) (TV)See more »


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7 out of 7 people found the following review useful.
Loyalty, 20 August 2013
Author: lreynaert from Belgium

'Gate of Hell' is a story about loyalties. All those who transgress their loyalties, and are beaten or unmasked, are sent to 'Hell' through its 'Gate'. In this movie, the loyalty operates at the social (clan) as well as at the personal level. Rival subjects of the emperor break loyalties by fighting each other for a privileged position at the court. On the other hand, unrestrained passion and sexual harassment of wives of other clan members are also considered as an unacceptable conduct. One of the participants of the yearly 'ceremony of conciliation' among the clans is simply thrown out of the ceremony for his aggressive behavior. Finally, there is also the loyalty of a wife to her husband.

Teinosuke Kinugasa's movie shines through its magical mix of color and light, with dark scenes for unrestrained passion and light ones for beauty and self-sacrifice: every frame of every shot is simply a formidable Japanese print. It shines also through the masterful directing and the restraint acting of its main female character. Ultimately, it shines through its treatment of such almighty important themes as the battle between 'good and evil' / 'war and peace' resulting in 'life or death' for its protagonists.

While Carl Theodor Dreyer's 'The Passion of Joan of Arc' was a pioneering feature film because of its camera movements and bold focalizing, while Dziga Vertov's 'Man with a Movie Camera' was a pioneering movie because of its brilliant shooting angles, its split screens and its rhythmic 'one by one frame' editing, Teinosuke Kinugasa's 'Gate of Hell' is a pioneering movie because of his magnificent play with light and color, turning it into a grandiose spectacle. He shot an eternal masterpiece. A must see.

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