Gate of Hell (film)

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Jigokumon poster.jpg
Original Japanese poster
Directed by Teinosuke Kinugasa
Produced by Masaichi Nagata
Written by Teinosuke Kinugasa
Starring Kazuo Hasegawa
Machiko Kyō
Music by Yasushi Akutagawa
Cinematography Kōhei Sugiyama
Edited by Shigeo Nishida
Distributed by Daiei Film
Release date(s)
  • October 31, 1953 (1953-10-31)
Running time 86 minutes
Country Japan
Language Japanese

Gate of Hell (地獄門 Jigokumon?) is a 1953 Japanese film directed by Teinosuke Kinugasa. It tells the story of a samurai (Kazuo Hasegawa) who tries to marry a woman (Machiko Kyō) he rescues, only to discover that she is already married to someone else. Filmed using Eastmancolor film, Gate of Hell was both Daiei Film's first color film and the first Japanese color film to be released outside Japan.

Gate of Hell won the Palme d'Or grand prize award at the 1954 Cannes Film Festival,[1] a 1955 Academy Honorary Award for "Best Foreign Language Film first released in the United States during 1954", along with the Academy Award for Best Costume Design, Color, and the 1954 New York Film Critics Circle Award for "Best Foreign Language Film". It also won the Golden Leopard at the Locarno International Film Festival.[2] Despite public demand, the film remained unavailable on home video for years, but finally received restored Blu-ray Disc and DVD releases from the Masters of Cinema in the United Kingdom in 2012, and The Criterion Collection in the United States the following year.


During a rebellion in 1159 the samurai Morito desires the lady-in-waiting Kesa but she's already married to Wataru. Morito decides to get rid of his rival. He makes Kesa explain to him how he can kill her husband while he sleeps. Kesa provides very precise instructions, yet when Morito follows through on her plan it is Kesa herself who gets killed. Morito understands that Kesa has sacrificed herself because she was determined to save her Waturu's life and her honour.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Gate of Hell". Retrieved 2009-01-25. 
  2. ^ "Winners of the Golden Leopard". Locarno. Retrieved 2012-08-12. 

External links[edit]