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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.

Director:

Chan-wook Park

Writers:

Garon Tsuchiya (story), Nobuaki Minegishi (comic) | 4 more credits »
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Top Rated Movies #68 | 38 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Min-sik Choi ... Dae-su Oh
Ji-tae Yu ... Woo-jin Lee
Hye-jeong Kang ... Mi-do
Dae-han Ji Dae-han Ji ... No Joo-hwan
Dal-su Oh ... Park Cheol-woong
Byeong-ok Kim ... Mr. Han
Seung-shin Lee ... Yoo Hyung-ja (as Seung-Shin Lee)
Jin-seo Yoon ... Lee Soo-ah
Dae-yeon Lee Dae-yeon Lee ... Beggar
Kwang-rok Oh Kwang-rok Oh ... Suicidal Man
Tae-kyung Oh Tae-kyung Oh ... Young Dae-su
Yeon-Seok Yoo Yeon-Seok Yoo ... Young Woo-Jin (as Ahn Yeon-Seok)
Il-han Oo Il-han Oo ... Young Joo-hwan
Su-hyeon Kim Su-hyeon Kim ... Chief Secretary
Seung-jin Lee 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 of imprisonment, five days of vengeance See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

South Korea

Language:

Korean

Release Date:

21 November 2003 (South Korea) See more »

Also Known As:

Oldboy See more »

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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:

$14,980,005
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Four live octopodes were eaten for the scene with Dae-su in the sushi bar, a scene which provoked some controversy abroad. Eating live octopus in Korea is commonplace although it is usually sliced first. When the film won the Grand Prix at Cannes, the director thanked the octopodes along with the cast and crew. See more »

Goofs

Main character states that lack of sunlight has left him depleted of Vitamins A and E. These are obtained through diet. Sunlight is only responsible for the production of Vitamin D. Thus, the character should only be depleted of Vitamin D. See more »

Quotes

Dae-su Oh: If by any chance Mido should find out the truth, you son of a bitch, I'm going to rip you limb from limb. And your remains will never be found. Why? Because I'm going to swallow every last bit.
See more »

Connections

References Un Chien Andalou (1929) See more »

Soundtracks

Winter
from "The Four Seasons"
Written by Antonio Vivaldi
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
If only we were all living in Asia....
19 December 2007 | by nils meesterSee all my reviews

To start off; This is the one and only film that kept me quiet for a whole 5 mins after seeing it. I literally couldn't close my mouth, and yet there wasn't any sound coming out of it. Oldboy had such an impact on me that words are too little to describe that impact. Therefore this film is definitely in my top 3 films ever made. It belongs there because it has a massive ingredient that a lot of films seem to miss out on; a divine plot. Even though the acting and screenplay are world class, the plot is really the cherry on the cake.

When it comes to screenplay Park Chan-Wook is unique (at least for western standards) in his way of filming. The colours are so vivid and it seems like he wanted every shot to be a piece of art. One tip: If you like the shooting in 'Oldboy', have a look at 'Sympathy for Lady Vengeance', the third part in Park's revenge-trilogy. It's even superior to the camera-work in 'Oldboy'. Don't, however, expect a story like Oldboy's, because you would be very disappointed.

When it comes to acting and the music, this film is also one of the better films ever made. The music sticks in your head and every time I put in my Oldboy-DVD and the theme-song comes up, I'm just flooded with good memories (even though the plot doesn't have a single reason to be happy about). The characters are also presented very well by the outstanding cast. Especially Choi Min-Sik and Yu Ji-Tae set a very convincing performance.

I really appreciate this film being respected as it should be, by having a place in the top 250. If, however, it was up to me it would be even higher in the ranking. I don't see why films like 'The Usual Suspects' or 'Memento', which are fantastic pieces of film-making and which without a doubt deserve a place in the top 250, are higher in the top 250 than 'Oldboy'. They serve the same cause; a fantastic plot. But those plots can't stand in the shadow or even come close to the plot of 'Oldboy'. The one and only reason is that those two films are better known and from a western production company. If we were all living in Asia, no doubt 'Oldboy' would be in the top 20 of all time.

My advice to people who haven't watched this film yet: Go see it! This is definitely a must- see. If you have a weak stomach, pull yourself together and still watch it. Don't be as shallow as a lot of people here tend to be. Look beyond the violence and see the things I mentioned before: world class acting, cinematography, music and last but certainly not least the plot. Once you've opened yourself up you'll find a whole new world of cinema. Enjoy!


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