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270 Ratings

Gate of Hell


Directed by Teinosuke Kinugasa
Japan, 1953
Drama, Romance, History


In the midst of epic, violent intrigue in twelfth-century Japan, an imperial warrior falls for a lady-in-waiting; after he discovers she is married, he becomes frenzied in his attempts to win her love.

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Gate of Hell Directed by Teinosuke Kinugasa

Awards & Festivals

Cannes Film Festival

1954 | Winner: Grand Prize of the Festival

Academy Awards

1955 | 2 wins including: Honorary Award

Locarno International Film Festival

1954 | Winner: Prize of the International Critics Jury

What are people saying?

  • mjgildea's rating of the film Gate of Hell

    Visually speaking, Gate of Hell was a marvel by 50s or today's standards. The brief shot where a lantern was being lit just past sunset was easily one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen on film. From a storytelling standpoint I didn't love it. Watching a seemingly solid guy turn into an idiot over a woman is never a pleasant thing to watch but the story's resolution and the final shot made this worth it.

  • Zachary George Najarian-Najafi's rating of the film Gate of Hell

    The beginning is so misleading, the way it tricks you into thinking this is a cheesy historical epic and then it just does a complete 180. This rivals, and maybe even trumps some of the other great psychological dramas of the era. The way Kinugasa frames each shot and his use of color was quite revolutionary, although at times a bit excessive. I enjoyed this one, but I didn't love it.

  • João Rocha's rating of the film Gate of Hell

    Amazing work of photography and color, but the plot is quite poor and a really bad choose of cast members.

  • Nick Schwab's rating of the film Gate of Hell

    One of the most beautiful looking films ever made in terms of color photography, Gate Of Hell is still a sub-standard melodrama in terms of story. While post-WWII symbolism and context may loom over it, these literary qualities are unfulfilled thus making its heart not as affective outside of its vibrant and utterly titillating colors. The eye's in the right place, but the soul has to get in-sync.

  • A47's rating of the film Gate of Hell

    Colorful and SHARP; The cinematography is a marvel for its time. However, it is the balance, or rather the dance, between the plot and character driven script that most interests me about this film. An intriguing platform for creating a moral structure within the film, instead of accepting a set compass. All three characters are given contradicting and lively points of view, leading to a powerful contradiction.

  • FISCHER's rating of the film Gate of Hell

    Une oeuvre magistrale, d'une splendeur picturale éblouissante (utilisation du fameux procédé "eastman color") et d'une profonde véracité psychologique qui fut récompensée, entre autres, par les deux plus hautes distinctions du milieu cinéma, la Palme d'Or cannoise et l'Oscar du Meilleur Film Etranger...

  • Ben Dooley's rating of the film Gate of Hell

    A curious, strange film - I'd like to know a little more about it, as it shifts in tone quite a lot at the start from apparent war drama to apparent romance, before it sets on being about perverse male desire and power-play, in a love triangle. Beautiful use of colour and misty settings. May be political allegory, or may be based on how some samurais actually behaved. Then again it may just be a yarn!

  • AKFilmFan's rating of the film Gate of Hell

    The most visually beautiful drama I've ever seen, the colors just pop out like a moving piece of history. It doesn't have the impressionistic feel of A Page of Madness but this conventional drama is an entertaining and ironic film where no one is quite who they seem to be. To be honest the conventional story is the only reason I didn't love the film.