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Memories of Murder (2003)

Salinui chueok (original title)
Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | 2 May 2003 (South Korea)
Trailer
2:02 | Trailer
In a small Korean province in 1986, two detectives struggle with the case of multiple young women being found raped and murdered by an unknown culprit.

Director:

Bong Joon Ho

Writers:

Bong Joon Ho, Kwang-rim Kim (play) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
963 ( 1)
Top Rated Movies #173 | 31 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kang-ho Song ... Detective Park Doo-man
Kim Sang-kyung ... Detective Seo Tae-yoon
Roe-ha Kim ... Detective Cho Yong-koo
Jae-ho Song ... Sergeant Shin Dong-chul
Byun Hee-Bong ... Sergeant Koo Hee-bong (as Hie-bong Byeon)
Seo-hie Ko ... Officer Kwon Kwi-ok
Tae-ho Ryu Tae-ho Ryu ... Jo Byeong-soon
No-shik Park ... Baek Gwang-ho
Park Hae-il ... Park Hyeon-gyu
Mi-seon Jeon ... Kwok Seol-yung
Young-hwa Seo ... Eon Deok-nyeo
Woo Go-na Woo Go-na ... Kim So-hyeon
Ok-joo Lee Ok-joo Lee ... Oh Nam-joo
Jong-ryol Choi Jong-ryol Choi ... Gwang-ho's father
Seung-mok Yoo Seung-mok Yoo ... Journalist
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Storyline

In 1986, in the province of Gyunggi, in South Korea, a second young and beautiful woman is found dead, raped and tied and gagged with her underwear. Detective Park Doo-Man and Detective Cho Yong-koo, two brutal and stupid local detectives without any technique, investigate the murder using brutality and torturing the suspects, without any practical result. The Detective Seo Tae-Yoon from Seoul comes to the country to help the investigations and is convinced that a serial-killer is killing the women. When a third woman is found dead in the same "modus-operandi", the detectives find leads of the assassin. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

1986 in a small town...for two detectives, everything was new. See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Bong Joon Ho has stated that the script for Memories of Murder (2003) was directly influenced by Alan Moore's comic book From Hell, and that he was also "a bit disappointed with the Hughes brothers' film of it." See more »

Goofs

In the letter received from the FBI written in English, there are four spelling mistakes - 'examnation' instead of 'examination', 'insrumental' instead of 'instrumental', 'dateed' instead of 'dated' and 'Octorber' instead of 'October'. See more »

Quotes

Detective Park Doo-Man: What kind of detective sleeps well?
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Alternate Versions

The British DVD by Optimum Releasing has 5 minutes cut omitting the whole part of the film between the release of the last suspect and Detective Seo Tae-Yoon shadowing him. Therefore important scenes for the development of the story are missing, such as when the detectives are informed about the possibility of a DNA analysis of sperm found on one of the victim's clothes and that the sample has to be sent abroad because the required equipment is not in Korea. Also missing is the sequence where Detective Cho Yong-koo loses his leg and a scene with Kwok Seol-yung asking Detective Park Doo-Man to quit the police. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Rewind This! (2013) See more »

User Reviews

 
The Slow Development of a Masterpiece
15 July 2005 | by WriterDaveSee all my reviews

This is probably the best crime thriller I've seen since "Insomnia," and contains the most haunting climax of any serial killer flick since "Seven." But like most films reaching for greatness, this is most admirable for its striking details.

The filmmakers here craft a taut, careful, and delicately strung together motion picture that relishes in its amazing development of mood, place, and character.

First, the mood: Haunting cinematography (rain falling on a small village at night, shadows darting across a thick field of grass, figures lurking in the woods, a masterfully choreographed hot pursuit scene on foot), a poignant music score (aided by the creepy use of a Korean pop song that accompanies each murder), and no-nonsense direction (peppered with fabulous doses of comic relief--how Shakespearan!) keep the film more and more intriguing at each turn and fascinating to watch.

Second, the place: South Korea, circa the late 1980's, and apparently under some sort of militia rule. This is inspired by the true story of Korea's first publicized (and still unsolved) serial killer case. This unique time and place serves as a wonderful respite from the typical American big-city setting of so many other films of this ilk.

Finally, the character development: The small details revealing the haunted souls of the detectives on the case is nothing short of brilliant. Witness the tiny executions of minutae: The cloth one rogue cop wraps around his boot so as not to leave scars when he kick-boxes suspects into submission, the harried chief of police checking his own blood pressure while trying to keep his off-the-cuff detectives in line or fighting to keep headline-starved reporters at bay, the young female officer desperately trying to showcase her abilities in crime solving between serving the chauvinistic detectives cups of fresh coffee, the outsider detective from Seoul's insistence that documents never lie (and the brutal irony at the climax that challenges his entire sense of being), and the main village detective's scathing speech on the difference between American FBI agents and Koren policemen. The beauty is in the details, and this film, like all the great ones, revels in their uncovering.

One flaw is that some might find the film a bit long in the tooth, but this is not to be missed for fans of serial killer thrillers and police procedural movies. For the Korean filmmakers, and the amazing cast...this is their master stroke.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

South Korea

Language:

Korean | English

Release Date:

2 May 2003 (South Korea) See more »

Also Known As:

Memories of Murder See more »

Filming Locations:

South Korea

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,800,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,487, 17 July 2005

Gross USA:

$15,357

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,159,644
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| | (Filmfest Hamburg)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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