One of the key works of the early 1950s wave of Japanese films to first reach foreign markets, director Kinugasa’s sumptuous period drama astonished audiences with its dramatic force and spectacular colour cinematography.
During feudal unrest in the 12th century, samurai warrior Moritō (Kazuo Hasegawa) manages to thwart a palace rebellion and save the life of the empress, using loyal subject Lady Kesa (Machiko Kyō) as a decoy. When Moritō is offered anything he should desire as reward, he requests Kesa’s hand in marriage. Informed that she is already married to a fellow samurai (Isao Yamagata), he refuses to withdraw his request, setting in motion a tragic chain of events.
Three decades after the director’s iconic A Page of Madness, Kinugasa’s striking tale of feudal intrigue, political machinations, and erotic obsession won the Grand Prix at Cannes, two Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film and Costume Design, and has since been named by Martin Scorsese as one of the ten greatest colour achievements in world cinema. Gate of Hell‘s blazing palette is proudly presented afresh by The Masters of Cinema Series in a magnificent new restoration, available for the very first time for home viewing in the UK, released in a Dual Format (DVD & Blu-ray) & DVD edition on 3 December 2012.