My Old Addiction

Movie Reviews By Bil Antoniou

Gate Of Hell (Jigokumon)

BBB

(out of 5)


A runaway art-house hit at its time, this film has certainly not aged well when compared with its contemporaries.  It’s a simple story of love and betrayal starring as a woman pretending to be a princess in order to help the real members of a royal family escape an invasion of their village.  The man who accompanies her to safety falls madly in love with her, determined to have her even after he finds out that she is actually married to a prominent nobleman:  it’s Japanese romance, so don’t expect it to go anywhere happy.  There’s not much substance to mine out of this one, but what has made it last over time is its truly stunning beauty.  Rarely have you seen a more gorgeously shot colour film, there are deep pools of rich hues in every shot, complemented by dazzling, Oscar-winning costumes and superbly controlled direction that never gets convoluted or frenetic.  Just don’t expect it to stay with you for long.


Daiei Studios

Japan, 1953

Directed by

Screenplay by Teinosuke Kinugasa, , based on the play Kesa’s Husband by

Cinematography by

Produced by

Music by

Production Design by

Costume Design by

Film Editing by

Academy Awards 1954

Cannes Film Festival 1954

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