IMDb > Gate of Hell (1953)
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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 »
Won Oscar. Another 6 wins & 1 nomination See more »
(21 articles)
The Forgotten: Spirit Over Substance
 (From MUBI. 11 December 2013, 2:48 PM, PST)

Orc Wars (2013) Movie Trailer: Marine fights Monsters at Gate of Hell
 (From Film-Book. 30 August 2013, 5:49 AM, PDT)

John D Wilson obituary
 (From The Guardian - Film News. 2 July 2013, 2:25 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
A Good Film That Falls Short See more (21 total) »


  (in credits order)
Kazuo Hasegawa ... Moritoo Endô
Machiko Kyô ... Kesa
Isao Yamagata ... Wataru Watanabe
Yataro Kurokawa ... Shigemori
Kôtarô Bandô ... Rokurô
Jun Tazaki ... Kogenta
Koreya Senda ... Gen Kiyomori
Masao Shimizu ... Nobuyori
Tatsuya Ishiguro ... Yachûta
Kenjiro 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
Hachiro Okuni ... 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 Ito 
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
Uichiro 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 »
Movie Connections:
Featured in The 79th Annual Academy Awards (2007) (TV)See more »


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26 out of 30 people found the following review useful.
A Good Film That Falls Short, 25 June 2002
Author: Howard Schumann from Vancouver, B.C.

In Gate of Hell, a samurai is rewarded for his courage with anything he desires, but what he desires is the wife of another samurai.

Gate of Hell was one of the most popular Japanese imports of the 1954-55 American film season and winner of two Academy Awards and the Cannes Grand Prize. I first saw it as a teenager and was captivated by its gorgeous color and beautiful cinematography.

According to Jasper Sharp of Japan Cult Cinema, "Still today the film looks as stunning as ever, with its opening battle scenes partially shrouded behind billowing veils and banners, and the majestic flight of the troops from the burning imperial palace providing some of the most remarkable images, as well such memorable set pieces as a horse race and Moritoh's tense night time confrontation with Wataru and Kesa at the film's climax".

Appearing around the same time Akira Kurosawa's Rashomon (1950), Kimisaburo Yoshimura's The Tale of Genji (Genji Monogatari, 1952), and Kenji Mizoguchi's Ugetsu (Ugetsu Monogatari, 1953), Kinugasa's film is part of what is often termed The Golden Age of Japanese Cinema.

Adapted from a play by the twentieth century writer Kan Kikuchi, based on a story from the Heian period (794-1185) - the same era in which Rashomon and The Tale of Genji are set - Kinugasa's film opens in the midst of the spectacular battle of the Heiji War.

A revolt against the Emperor has been put down and Moritoh (Kasuo Hasegawa), a brave warrior is granted any wish he desires. Moritoh asks for the hand of Kesa (Machiko Kyo) but this request proves impossible to grant, since Lady Kesa is already married to Wataru (Isao Yamagata). Moritoh refuses to take no for an answer and becomes obsessed with obtaining Kesa as his wife, even if it means threatening the life of her husband to achieve his ends.

This film held my interest but I found the plot predictable and the acting exaggerated (Moritoh looks more ridiculous than frightening). According to Sharp, "Kinugasa himself was fully aware of his picture's dramatic weaknesses, and blamed intervention from his producer, an under-developed script, and a rushed working schedule due to a release date fixed in advance".

Perhaps this could have been a truly great film, but, to me, it is simply a very good film that falls short.

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