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The Housemaid (1960)

Hanyo (original title)
Not Rated | | Crime, Drama | 3 November 1960 (South Korea)
A composer and his wife are thrown into turmoil when a housemaid becomes more than they bargained for.




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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jin Kyu Kim ...
Dong-sik Kim
Jeung-nyeo Ju ...
Mrs. Kim
Eun-shim Lee ...
Aeng-ran Eom ...
Kyung-hee Cho
Seon-ae Ko ...
Seon-young Kwak
Sook-Rang Wang
Seok-je Kang
Jeong-ok Na
Chang-soon Kim
Yoo-ri Lee ...
Ae-soon Kim
Jeong-hee Ok
Ok-joo Le
Nam-hyeon Choi
Bang-Choon Nam
Seok-Geun Cho


In the 60s in Korea, the piano teacher Mr. Kim works in a factory giving music classes to the workers. When he receives a love letter from the student Miss Kwak, he delivers the letter to the supervisor and the worker is suspended for three days. Mr. Kim is a family man, married with two children, the girl Ae-Soon and the boy Chang-Soon, and he has just built and moved to a bigger house of his own. His wife Mrs. Kim also works too much at a sewing machine and they need a housemaid to help her in the housework. Mr. Kim asks Kwak's best friend, Miss Kyung Hee Cho, who is his private student of piano, to help him to find a housemaid. Miss Cho invites an unstable and unbalanced young woman to work for Mr. and Mrs. Kim and she introduces the housemaid to the family. Mr. Kim hires the youth and brings her to the household. But soon she behaves in a strange way, snooping Mr. Kim's private classes until the night that she seduces Mr. Kim and they have intercourse. The housemaid gets pregnant ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama


Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

3 November 1960 (South Korea)  »

Also Known As:

The Housemaid  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


(restored print)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.55 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »


At c.89 minutes the girl, Ae-Soon, nimbly and athletically gets out of bed surprisingly quickly for a young lass needing crutches. See more »


Followed by Hwanyeo '82 (1982) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

It really is that good!
8 May 2001 | by (San Francisco) – See all my reviews

Sometimes, it's too easy to give abnormally high ratings to films may not necessarily deserve the honor. The good news is that Hanyo (The Housemaid) is the real thing - the kind of rarity that fills the viewer with such astonishment that you talk about it years later.

Kim Ki-young's 1960 masterpiece must be seen at the first possible opportunity -- if you have the luck. This black and white morality tale is pure black comedy, the almost-campy tale of a respectable music teacher whose life is soon complicated with a passion for one of his students. The tone is not unlike a deliciously lurid pre-Code drama about the withering power of vice, but The Housemaid almost takes pleasure at showing the incremental erosion of morality and the corrosiveness of sin. The strange subtitles, some handwritten, only add to the atmosphere. And if you're blown away by the deadpan comedy, prepare yourself for an ending that will leave you slack-jawed for days. The movie's a miracle.

Hanyo's construction is inventive and completely unpredictable - a fascinating case-study on Confucian ethics.

It's so good that Martin Scorsese and other sponsors funded a complete restoration of the old print, which includes painstakingly subtitle tracks. They did an outstanding job restoring a problematic print that was at the same time extremely rare.You should be able to catch a free streaming video that's fully authorized. (http://www.theauteurs.com/films/2039)

Or better yet, the DVD has just been released, and contains additional material about its restoration

15 of 20 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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