Gate of Hell, 1953 and John Steinbeck

Classic Film Aficionados

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Gate of Hell (original title Jigokumon) 1953, is a story of three people, Moritoh Enda, Wataru Watanabe and his wife Kesa and at its heart it is a morality tale, and reminds me greatly of John Steinbeck’s novella, The Pearl, published in 1947 contemporaneously with the release of Film Asociados Mexico-Americanos production of La perla. Of course the stories are completely unrelated in context or continuity, yet, they derive their ethics from the same universal ideal that avarice, lust and envy in control lead to the death or hurt of those we love. In La perla we hear the narrator say: “This is a story that old men tell to children. They aren’t sure where it happened or when”. This introduction shortly translates Steinbeck’s words that describe these universal tales of morality: [1] “because the story has been told so often, it has taken root in every man’s mind. And, as with…

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