7.3/10
2,535
23 user 48 critic

The Housemaid (1960)

Hanyo (original title)
A composer and his wife are thrown into turmoil when a housemaid becomes more than they bargained for.

Director:

Ki-young Kim

Writer:

Ki-young Kim
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Cast

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

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

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

South Korea

Language:

Korean

Release Date:

3 November 1960 (South Korea) See more »

Also Known As:

The Housemaid See more »

Filming Locations:

Seoul, South Korea

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (restored print)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.55 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Hanyo was the first and the last film Eun-shim Lee, who plays Myung-sook in this film, starred in. The public hated immoral Myung-sook so much that no director hired her after this film. See more »

Goofs

With the exception of some authentic close-ups, the piano playing, throughout the film, is very poorly mimed; with piano playing and piano teaching such an important part of the plot this seems rather surprising. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Century of Cinema: Gilwe-eui younghwa (1995) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Men are mocked for their ease of succumbing to temptations of flesh; but really, is it fair to put the blame on one half of the human race?
14 July 2010 | by EternalitySee all my reviews

It was only in the last two decades that Korean cinema had slowly become a force to be reckoned with. Today, Korean films set the standard for Asian cinema, and are only occasionally bettered by films from Japan, China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. Some of Korea's top filmmakers, such as Park Chan-wook, Kim Ki-duk, and Bong Joon-ho, to a name a few, are now rubbing shoulders with the great directors of Europe, frequently taking part and winning awards in film festivals like Cannes and Venice. The renaissance (if that is the correct word) of contemporary Korean cinema owes a debt to Kim Ki-young's The Housemaid, one of only a few great films to emerge post-war from the country. The Housemaid is about a happy family who are torn apart by a maid hired by the husband to help with daily chores. The maid seduces the husband and tries to wield control over his materialistic wife who is pregnant. The maid also has tensions with their children – a crippled daughter and a mischievous boy. The Housemaid starts out like an Ozu-esquire drama where life couldn't be more ordinary, with Kim taking his time to flesh out the film's major characters. The first scene immediately foreshadows what is to come later: The husband, who is reading the paper, is aghast at a report of a man who committed adultery with his maid. His wife reacts by replying, "Men are hopeless, taking interest in a maid." Their maid unsurprisingly appears in the second-quarter of the film, bringing an ominous development to the proceedings. The performance by the actress (I can't quite figure out her name) who plays the maid is tremendous, providing Korean cinema with one if its vilest villains. She hides her "sexual predator" self under her shy demeanor, only exposing her true colors when she finds herself alone with her master. Kim also sets up the mood of the film to work out like a "haunted house" picture. Many of the external shots are that of lashing rain and blinding lightning, giving the film a sinister edge. His direction is assured, and slowly but surely, he navigates his film into horror territory. The second hour of The Housemaid is unpredictable. The situation that unfolds border on disturbing material, with Kim exploring the worst of human nature. The climax is frightening not because it is horrific, but because it is tragic. Kim also adds a layer of dark humor into the dialogue, which coupled with some over-the-top acting, helps to make the film less grim. Nevertheless, The Housemaid remains as a stinging social commentary and a powerful tale of lust, greed, and revenge. In the final scene that breaks the "fourth wall', men are mocked for their ease of succumbing to temptations of flesh, like tiger to fresh meat. But really, is it fair to put the blame on one half of the human race? SCORE: 8/10 () All rights reserved!


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