Gate of Hell (Jigokumon) Reviews

  • Mar 18, 2018

    I'm not onside with either the critics or the audience consensus on this one. The colours and costumes are beautiful, and there is the occasional shot which is artistic. Otherwise, it's terribly over-acted with a boring, slow beginning and then an over-dramatic conclusion. One of the most poorly executed Best Foreign Language Film Oscar winners I've watched. I can't believe it won.

    I'm not onside with either the critics or the audience consensus on this one. The colours and costumes are beautiful, and there is the occasional shot which is artistic. Otherwise, it's terribly over-acted with a boring, slow beginning and then an over-dramatic conclusion. One of the most poorly executed Best Foreign Language Film Oscar winners I've watched. I can't believe it won.

  • Jan 22, 2017

    Different than most samurai movies of the era. While a good story, there seems a disconnect between the two halves of the movie

    Different than most samurai movies of the era. While a good story, there seems a disconnect between the two halves of the movie

  • Nov 02, 2016

    Sublime. Beautiful. Perfection. Like watching oil move on the canvas.

    Sublime. Beautiful. Perfection. Like watching oil move on the canvas.

  • Sep 19, 2015

    O que até começa por ser um filme de guerra, que exige enorme concentração para decorar os nomes e partes envolvidas, passa à condição de arrebatador drama de amores assim que encontra o seu foco. Com mais de 60 anos, "Gate of Hell" continua a ser absolutamente relevante como prova do cinema muito nobre e delicadamente vistoso vindo do Japão. Podia a sua história de obsessão facilmente cair no exagero, mas Teinosuke Kinusaga sabe muito bem como equilibrar os rasgos furiosos do seu principal protagonista com outros em que reina a tranquilidade da música koto ou dos palácios quase vazios. Há também para ver uma Machiko Kyo que deve ser das actrizes mais hipnóticas do seu tempo.

    O que até começa por ser um filme de guerra, que exige enorme concentração para decorar os nomes e partes envolvidas, passa à condição de arrebatador drama de amores assim que encontra o seu foco. Com mais de 60 anos, "Gate of Hell" continua a ser absolutamente relevante como prova do cinema muito nobre e delicadamente vistoso vindo do Japão. Podia a sua história de obsessão facilmente cair no exagero, mas Teinosuke Kinusaga sabe muito bem como equilibrar os rasgos furiosos do seu principal protagonista com outros em que reina a tranquilidade da música koto ou dos palácios quase vazios. Há também para ver uma Machiko Kyo que deve ser das actrizes mais hipnóticas do seu tempo.

  • Feb 02, 2015

    Gate of Hell is an early masterpiece of Japanese cinema. I'd imagine it's one of the first dark comedies to be shown in color, Gate of Hell's puts great use to the color to create a beautiful viewing experience. Among being an unpredictable, comedic, and grim, Gate of Hell clearly shows the influence it has had on later great Japanese directors like Akira Kurosawa.

    Gate of Hell is an early masterpiece of Japanese cinema. I'd imagine it's one of the first dark comedies to be shown in color, Gate of Hell's puts great use to the color to create a beautiful viewing experience. Among being an unpredictable, comedic, and grim, Gate of Hell clearly shows the influence it has had on later great Japanese directors like Akira Kurosawa.

  • Walter M Super Reviewer
    Nov 12, 2014

    In "Gate of Hell," a rebellion has broken out in Japan. As all hell breaks loose, a desperate plan is hatched to save the royalty by distracting them with a decoy. Kesa(Machiko Kyo), a handmaiden volunteers for the suicide mission which the rebels fall for. Luckily for her, Morito(Kazuo Hasegawa) is on hand to rescue her before battling his own brother. After order is restored and the rebellion put down, Morito is granted a boon for his bravery and loyalty. He chooses Kesa's hand in marriage which is when things get very, very complicated. Even as action packed as its first act is, "Gate of Hell" also finds the time to unload a lot of 12th century Japanese politics and history on the unsuspecting audience. That is all a little unnecessary, considering that at the heart of this historical drama is the intimate and timeless tragedy of three people and they are the only ones that matter. But the movie soon recovers itself very, very well on the way to its shattering climax. In general, this is also a movie about warriors who have trouble adjusting to peacetime, especially considering this was made not that long after the end of World War II.

    In "Gate of Hell," a rebellion has broken out in Japan. As all hell breaks loose, a desperate plan is hatched to save the royalty by distracting them with a decoy. Kesa(Machiko Kyo), a handmaiden volunteers for the suicide mission which the rebels fall for. Luckily for her, Morito(Kazuo Hasegawa) is on hand to rescue her before battling his own brother. After order is restored and the rebellion put down, Morito is granted a boon for his bravery and loyalty. He chooses Kesa's hand in marriage which is when things get very, very complicated. Even as action packed as its first act is, "Gate of Hell" also finds the time to unload a lot of 12th century Japanese politics and history on the unsuspecting audience. That is all a little unnecessary, considering that at the heart of this historical drama is the intimate and timeless tragedy of three people and they are the only ones that matter. But the movie soon recovers itself very, very well on the way to its shattering climax. In general, this is also a movie about warriors who have trouble adjusting to peacetime, especially considering this was made not that long after the end of World War II.

  • Aug 05, 2014

    Gate Of Hell is quite a film, to say the least. Sure, there's the fact that it was the first color Japanese film, but it's also a film where despite a deceptively simple premise, it holds a great deal more in intellectual value, and also having a lot to say about the nature of human beings when obsession and desires consumes every last facet of our lives, even if it threatens to destroy the object of desire. During a traitorous rebellion, the royal family needs to be evacuated, so to fool the invaders, a woman named Kesa, volunteers to be the Ladyship's double, while being escorted by some samurai, including one named Moritoh. The rebellion ends up being crushed, and Moritoh is considered to be a hero and he is offered anything he wants as a reward. He wants to marry Kesa, but this particular request cannot be honored, as she is already married to a man named Wataru. This infuriates Moritoh, and he refuses to take no for an answer and seeks endlessly to win her love while also deviously plotting to get Wataru out of the picture. The story is familiar, and on the surface, is simple.. But, it's the way that the film presents it, and the way that is written and performed, that makes the story a great deal more than what it would seem at first thought. There are many themes to be processed: obsession, desire, greed, and other dark themes, but it is also surprising in themes like devotion, true love, sacrifice, and other themes. It covers a wide spectrum of human thoughts and emotions, both dark and malicious, but also how goodness and devotion to the one you love can stand in the face of terrifying evil that threatens to destroy everyone. The story is quite compelling, and also tragic and emotional. The acting is superb, especially from Machiko Kyo as Lady Kesa and Kazuo Hasegawa as Moritoh. Machiko Kyo is a sympathetic and wonderful character, while Kazuo Hasegawa does an amazing job of playing the menacing Moritoh as his mental state slowly deteriorates when the object of his desire rejects him over and over again until there is nothing but the obsession as his goal in sight. These two are what made the film what it was in terms of storytelling, as they successfully balance between good and evil elements of human nature. Gate Of Hell is a superb drama that definitely deserved the numerous awards that it won when it first released. This makes it ever more questionable as to why it took so damn long for it to get released on a home video format (So much so, that they had to restore all the colors and footage because the footage was so faded and old from not being used for so long). Whatever may be the reason for this, we finally get to see the masterpiece in all its glory. It's not just a beautiful color film, but it's also an exceptional drama and among the greatest Japanese films ever made. If you love a good drama, Gate Of Hell is something worth seeing.

    Gate Of Hell is quite a film, to say the least. Sure, there's the fact that it was the first color Japanese film, but it's also a film where despite a deceptively simple premise, it holds a great deal more in intellectual value, and also having a lot to say about the nature of human beings when obsession and desires consumes every last facet of our lives, even if it threatens to destroy the object of desire. During a traitorous rebellion, the royal family needs to be evacuated, so to fool the invaders, a woman named Kesa, volunteers to be the Ladyship's double, while being escorted by some samurai, including one named Moritoh. The rebellion ends up being crushed, and Moritoh is considered to be a hero and he is offered anything he wants as a reward. He wants to marry Kesa, but this particular request cannot be honored, as she is already married to a man named Wataru. This infuriates Moritoh, and he refuses to take no for an answer and seeks endlessly to win her love while also deviously plotting to get Wataru out of the picture. The story is familiar, and on the surface, is simple.. But, it's the way that the film presents it, and the way that is written and performed, that makes the story a great deal more than what it would seem at first thought. There are many themes to be processed: obsession, desire, greed, and other dark themes, but it is also surprising in themes like devotion, true love, sacrifice, and other themes. It covers a wide spectrum of human thoughts and emotions, both dark and malicious, but also how goodness and devotion to the one you love can stand in the face of terrifying evil that threatens to destroy everyone. The story is quite compelling, and also tragic and emotional. The acting is superb, especially from Machiko Kyo as Lady Kesa and Kazuo Hasegawa as Moritoh. Machiko Kyo is a sympathetic and wonderful character, while Kazuo Hasegawa does an amazing job of playing the menacing Moritoh as his mental state slowly deteriorates when the object of his desire rejects him over and over again until there is nothing but the obsession as his goal in sight. These two are what made the film what it was in terms of storytelling, as they successfully balance between good and evil elements of human nature. Gate Of Hell is a superb drama that definitely deserved the numerous awards that it won when it first released. This makes it ever more questionable as to why it took so damn long for it to get released on a home video format (So much so, that they had to restore all the colors and footage because the footage was so faded and old from not being used for so long). Whatever may be the reason for this, we finally get to see the masterpiece in all its glory. It's not just a beautiful color film, but it's also an exceptional drama and among the greatest Japanese films ever made. If you love a good drama, Gate Of Hell is something worth seeing.

  • Jul 27, 2014

    Shot in a resplendent Eastmancolor, Gate of Hell, the first Japanese movie to be filmed in color, extracts poetry from the misery of man and the tragic destiny of tormented souls that recognize how oppressive feelings can be. You've rarely seen colors come alive in quite this way, very carefully matched against one another. Every frame of every shot is simply a formidable Japanese print. It is pure beauty. 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. Developed in slow pace, this movie is 53 years old, and it still sparkles Those were the days when doing the right thing was the expected norm. All those who transgress their loyalties, and are beaten or unmasked, are sent to hell through its gat

    Shot in a resplendent Eastmancolor, Gate of Hell, the first Japanese movie to be filmed in color, extracts poetry from the misery of man and the tragic destiny of tormented souls that recognize how oppressive feelings can be. You've rarely seen colors come alive in quite this way, very carefully matched against one another. Every frame of every shot is simply a formidable Japanese print. It is pure beauty. 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. Developed in slow pace, this movie is 53 years old, and it still sparkles Those were the days when doing the right thing was the expected norm. All those who transgress their loyalties, and are beaten or unmasked, are sent to hell through its gat

  • Jun 03, 2014

    Beautiful color cinematography.

    Beautiful color cinematography.

  • Feb 23, 2014

    A standard love-triangle story. But the use of color is remarkable and well ahead of its time.

    A standard love-triangle story. But the use of color is remarkable and well ahead of its time.