7.0/10
2,044
19 user 43 critic

Untold Scandal (2003)

Seukaendeul - Joseon namnyeo sangyeoljisa (original title)
In late 1700s Korea, Lady Cho challenges the playboy Lord Jo-won into seducing and sleeping with her husband's coming young, virgin concubine. Lady Cho agrees to sleep with him if he succeeds.

Director:

Je-yong Lee

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8 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mi-sook Lee ... Madam Jo (as Mi-suk Lee)
Yong-jun Bae ... Jo-won
Do-yeon Jeon ... Lady Jeong
Hyeon-jae Jo ... Kwon In-ho
So-yeon Lee ... Lee So-ok
Yang-ja Jeon Yang-ja Jeon ... Vice-premier's Wife
Han-il Na Han-il Na ... Nobleman Yoo
Mi-ji Lee Mi-ji Lee ... So-ok's Mother
Sung-min Choi Sung-min Choi ... Slave
Yi-bin Han Yi-bin Han ... Eun Sil-i (as Seon-nyeo Yoon)
Chan-yeong Lee Chan-yeong Lee ... Yoon Jong-won
Ban-ya Choi ... Chu Wol-yi
Kyeong-ok Min Kyeong-ok Min ... Woman from Andong
Seo Yoon Seo Yoon ... Jeong Geum-i (as Yoon-ah Seo)
Seok-Gyoo Jeong Seok-Gyoo Jeong ... Kim Heung-yeon
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Storyline

Based on the novel 'Les Liaisons Dangereuses,' this film is set in aristocratic 18th-century Korea at the end of the Chosun Dynasty. The irresistible temptress Lady Cho asks her cad of a younger cousin, Jo-won, to deflower the innocent young Soh-ok, who is to become her husband's concubine. But, his attentions soon shift to the graceful and aloof Lady Sook, who lives according to her convictions as a Catholic. Jo-won becomes obsessed with seducing this chaste woman who has remained celibate for nine years since her husband's death. However, conquering the most virtuous woman in the land proves to be more difficult than Chosun's notorious playboy expects. Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

South Korea

Language:

Korean

Release Date:

2 October 2003 (South Korea) See more »

Also Known As:

Scandal - Joseon namnyeo sangyeoljisa See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,015, 17 October 2004

Gross USA:

$63,332

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$5,762,801
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Replaced 2046 (2004) as the closing film at the Edinburgh Film Festival. See more »

Connections

Version of Valmont (1989) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A story about beauty and vice
3 February 2007 | by refresh_daemonSee all my reviews

This film is an interesting one. The story is adapted from the French novel Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Dangerous Liasans). It's an 18th (maybe 17th?)century French novel of intrigue and scandal and the movie is set in... 18th century Korea, during the Chosun period. If you've seen Dangerous Liasans or a modern-day adaptation, Cruel Intentions, you've basically got the plot down. Male womanizer and scheming female near relative make a bet that womanizer can't seduce a pure woman. And stuff goes crazy from there.

So I decided to watch this film because it was a massive box-office opener in Korea, beating out all of its competition at the time. A few things that I noticed: 1) I like watching Korean period films, especially those of older Korea because the costumes and set design tend to be very aesthetically pleasing. The art direction is beautiful.

2) The acting was actually quite impressive--certainly better than Cruel Intentions, which is the only other version of this film that I've seen.

3) There are a few graphic sex scenes (and many suggested ones), so if you can't handle that, don't watch the film.

4) The tragedy is tragic and the love story is surprising. The ending was quite moving and was tragic because the flaws of the characters led to their own demise and loss of the things that they love.

5) Cinematography and direction are very strong and the primary actresses are particularly strong.

In the end, this was a well rendered adaptation, so much that I'm curious as to what the original source material is like. I really like the plot lines and the story because it converges so many different themes into a tragic tale of human weakness and yet manages to paint the weak, fallible and sometimes wicked characters in such a way that you still have some sympathy for them, showing that there is something in everyone that was or is beautiful, but it can get buried under the vices of this world.

All the actors are not strong and the film suffers a little from slow pacing, but in the end, it's a very watchable film that has a lot of strengths, even if the film isn't one of the great films of all time. If you can handle the content, I recommend this film. 8/10.


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