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After being kidnapped and imprisoned for fifteen years, Oh Dae-Su is released, only to find that he must find his captor in five days.

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(story), (comic) | 3 more credits »
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Top Rated Movies #67 | 38 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Dae-han Ji ...
No Joo-hwan
...
...
...
Yoo Hyung-ja (as Seung-Shin Lee)
...
Lee Soo-ah
Dae-yeon Lee ...
Beggar
Kwang-rok Oh ...
Suicidal Man
Tae-kyung Oh ...
Young Dae-su
Yeon-Seok Yoo ...
Young Woo-jin (as Yeon-suk Ahn)
Il-han Oo ...
Young Joo-hwan
Su-hyeon Kim
Seung-jin Lee
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Storyline

Abducted on a rainy night in 1988, the obnoxious drunk, Oh Dae-Su, much to his surprise, wakes up locked in a windowless and dilapidated hotel room, for an unknown reason. There, his invisible and pitiless captors will feed him, clothe him and sedate him to avoid committing suicide, and as his only companion and a window to the world is the TV in his stark cell, the only thing that helps Oh Dae-Su keep going is his daily journal. But then, unexpectedly, after fifteen long years in captivity, the perplexed prisoner is deliberately released, encouraged to track down his tormentor to finally get his retribution. Nevertheless, who would hate Oh Dae-Su so much he would deny him of a quick and clean death? Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

15 years forced in a cell, only 5 days given to seek revenge. See more »

Genres:

Mystery | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence including scenes of torture, sexuality and pervasive language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 November 2003 (South Korea)  »

Also Known As:

Oldboy  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$68,957, 25 March 2005, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$707,481

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$14,272,524
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Dae-su Oh bangs his head right after stopping Mi-do from reading his diary. This "head banging" was not a scripted action. However Hye-jeong Kang (Mi-do) kept her cool and continued on with her lines. The director, in an interview, said that he kept and used this supposedly NG scene for its comical and emotional value. See more »

Goofs

Oh Dae-Su states that the maxim, "Free yourself, like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter, like a bird from the snare of the fowler," is from Proverbs 6:4; these numbers are emphasized shortly afterwards. The saying is actually from Proverbs 6:5. See more »

Quotes

Dae-su Oh: [holding up a sign] I'VE BEEN BUGGED. PLEASE FIND IT.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Ebert Presents: At the Movies: Episode #1.9 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Waltz
from "Masquerade"
by Aram Khachaturyan
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
More people need to see this film!
15 August 2007 | by See all my reviews

In an age of American cinema where our biggest blockbusters are based on films already successful overseas, this is one movie that needs to be seen by more American movie goers. This is the movie that got me hooked on Asian revenge films. Oldboy is an original movie that shows what happens when a man's freedom is taken away and he doesn't know why, or by whom. He is sudden thrust back into society where he must track down the person that took away his freedom. Along the way come multiple plot twist and surprises that you just don't see coming.

It's a shame so many American film goers refuse to see foreign films, because this movie is genius. Who knows, maybe someday the movie will get remade for audiences here in the U.S. and the main character will be played by Mel Gibson or Bruce Willis. If you want to stay true to the Asian vision, I even think Jackie Chan could be a candidate.


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