During feudal unrest in the 12th century, samurai warrior Morito (Kazuo Hasegawa) manages to thwart a palace rebellion and save the life of the empress, using loyal subject Lady Kesa (Machiko Kyo) as a decoy. When Morito 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.
Ravishing -- but the story is simpleminded.
- Gate of Hell review by MS
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You rated this film: 3
I've never seen a film that looked more beautiful than this -- full of striking and ravishing images -- many shots were really like works of art. But the story was overly simple, the heroine a cipher, and it had a tacked-on unhappy ending that was downright silly. The tragedy didn't seem in the least inevitable, or even understandable -- but that was mainly because we never had a clear idea what the heroine was thinking or feeling.