Director : Teinosuke Kinugasa
Cast : Kazuo Hasegawa,Machiko Kyō
Gate of Hell directed by Teinosuke Kinugasa was the first Japanese color film to be released outside of Japan.This film is set during the 12th century Heian period in Kyoto, Japan. Gate of Hell tells story about a samurai named Moritoh(Kazuo Hasegawa) and a Girl whom he fell in love with and wish to marry.The film opens with the revolutionary scenes which happens and rocks the Kyoto city.During the revolutionary crisis period, a chief master asks the people whom gathered in the city for any voluntary person who can act like and can save the Royal family member.
From the crowd gathered, a Lady named Kesa(Machiko Kyō) rushes and comes in front of him and accepts the invitation. She then flees in a bullock cart wearing the Royal family costumes to divert the enemies.Once the enemies tries to attack her, samurai Moritoh saves Kesa and later the enemies get defeated.Samurai Moritoh came to know from her aunt that Lady Kesa works for the Royal family.He fell in love with her beauty and her brave attitude.Once the Royal court rewards all the soldiers who fought and won the battle, samurai Moritoh asks king for Kesa as a reward and tells his wish to marry her.After discussion they all came to know that Kesa is already a married woman.His propossal get rejected by the court and Moritoh gets upset and becomes angry.
After several attempts to convince Kesa for his wish, Moritoh fails all the time.Even after knowing all these circumstances, Kesa’s husband stays calm and quiet and have strong faith on Kesa.One day Moritoh blackmail’s Kesa and informs her that he will kill her husband if she didn’t accept for the marriage.After lot of pressure, Kesa accepts to marry him.Moritoh informs kesa to turn off the lights on her husband room the following night at 9’o clock in order to kill him.Kesa agrees for it.Kesa looks very sad on the following night, serves food for her husband and plays music as per her husband’s wish.
That night she requests her husband to sleep on her room itself beside her.After her husband slept, she moves to her husband’s room , turn off the room’s light and she goes for the sleep.Unaware of Kesa sleeping on her husband’s room, Moritoh enters the room and kill Kesa.After knowing the truth Moritoh feels ashamed of himself for Kesa’s true love and sacrifice for her husband.Moritoh searches for Kesa’s husband, pleads before him and requests him to kill him for his action.But Kesa’s husband refuses to do so by informing Moritoh as anyway Kesa not going to come back again.The Film ends as Kesa’s husband feel sorry for himself thinking why and how he failed to get Kesa’s confident on him.
Gate of Hell is really a beautiful film.Still amazed by the film’s cinematography and the colors which has been used at 1950’s.Director Teinosuke Kinugasa made this movie as one of world classics.The film presents the viewers the rich traditional values of Japanese life style.
1955 Academy Award
Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film
Academy Award for Best Costume Design
1954 Cannes Film Festival