Gate of Hell (1953)

Not Rated   |    |  Drama, History

Gate of Hell (1953) Poster

A samurai pursues a married lady-in-waiting.


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28 March 2014 | claudio_carvalho
| Love, Obsession and Tragedy
In 1160, in the Heiji Era, Lord Kiyomori (Koreya Senda) travels with his court to the Temple of Itsukushima and his Sanjo Castle is invaded by two other lords, in a coup d'etat. The loyal samurai Moritoh Enda (Kazuo Hasegawa) asks the court lady Kesa (Machiko Kyô) to pose of the lord's sister to create a diversion while the lord's real sister and his father flee in the middle of the people.

Then Moritoh travels to meet Lord Kiyomon and fights with him to defeat the enemies and the coup fails. Lord Kiyomon rewards the warriors that helped him and when he asks Moritoh what he wishes, he requests to marry Kesa. The lord grants his wish but soon he learns that Kesa is married with Wataru Watanabe (Isao Yamagata), a samurai from the imperial guard. Moritoh harasses Kesa and threatens her, promising to kill her husband, her aunt and her if she does not marry him. Kesa's decision leads the trio to a tragic fate.

"Jigokumon" is a Japanese classic released in Brazil by the best Brazilian distributor on a totally restored version on DVD. The dramatic story of love, obsession and tragedy is developed in slow pace and has great performances and stunning cinematography with wonderful colors and camera angles. The tragic conclusion based on the code of honor of Moritoh that will live in disgrace is frustrating for Westerns that would prefer the conclusion with a decapitation or seppuku (harakiri) instead. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "Portal do Inferno" ("Gate of the Hell")

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