Two clowns living in Korea's Chosun Dynasty get arrested for staging a play that satirizes the king. They are dragged to the palace and threatened with execution but are given a chance to save their lives if they can make the king laugh.

Director:

Joon-ik Lee

Writers:

Seok-Hwan Choi, Tae-woong Kim (play)
Reviews
11 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Woo-seong Kam ... Jang-sang
Jin-young Jung ... King Yeonsan (as Jin-yeong Jeong)
Seong-Yeon Kang Seong-Yeon Kang ... Nok-su Jang (as Sung-Yeon Kang)
Lee Joon-Gi ... Gong-gil (as Jun-ki Lee)
Hang-Seon Jang Hang-Seon Jang ... Cheo-sun
Hae-Jin Yoo ... Yuk-gab (as Hae-jin Yoo)
Seok-yong Jeong Seok-yong Jeong ... Chil-duk
Seung-Hun Lee Seung-Hun Lee ... Pal-bok
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Woo Hyeon ... Hong
Shin Jeong-geun ... Lee Geuk-kyun
Yeong-seok Lee Yeong-seok Lee ... Nobleman
Yeong-su Park Yeong-su Park ... Court Clown
Seung-won Seo Seung-won Seo ... Steward
Woon-seob Shin ... Spectator 1
Edit

Storyline

Soul mate minstrels Jang-sang and Gong-gil eke out a living in 14th century Korea through bawdy stories presented in a tightrope act; however, sexual interests of the rich over Gong-gil's androgynous looks impair their basic desire to entertain once too often. A line is crossed, an authority figure dies, and the pair must flee to Seoul. They soon take up with a trio of fellow minstrels and, lead by Jang-sang, present riskier shows that prove more lucrative; but, a scathing exhibition satirizing the king and his concubine puts them under arrest with a set date for execution. Forced to present themselves to the king for final judgment, they surprisingly wind up becoming his court performers, but the tyrannical king, though sensitive and intelligent, is also excessive and psychologically scarred, with the minstrel shows putting him uncomfortably in touch with buried issues over his dead mother (long ago forced to commit suicide by the court). This makes him dangerously unstable. The ... Written by statmanjeff

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Forbidden desire, sumptuous tragedy

Genres:

Drama | History

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Baek Seong-Hyeun was the final candidate for the role of Gong-Gil. See more »

Goofs

In the on-screen translation, opening titles call out Korea's 500-years-plus Chosun Dynasty as being unmatched in the annals of "word" history, rather than "world" history. See more »

Quotes

Pal-bok: [From subtitles] Isn't she the King's Consort?
Chil-duk: Sure is. What on earth is that woman doing?
Pal-bok: People say, she a lady now but she still shits like a horse. So then the rumors were true after all!
See more »

User Reviews

Nice
28 July 2006 | by stractSee all my reviews

Trust South Korea to produce nice tragedies again and again. First it was "Friend", then "Joint Security Area", and now "The King and the Clown", which is about two male clowns being arrested for staging a comedy which mocks the King, and would be spared the death sentence if they could humor the King as much as they did to the civilians. This sounds a little like "Brokeback Mountain" taking place in Korea, but the speech and behavior the two clowns have towards each other is carefully crafted that they make it look more like a case of brotherhood amongst them. However, that does not in any way dilutes the affections we see between the two male friends, which are incredibly genuine. It is this genuine affection that makes this such a touching show to watch. Also, this is not just romance; this has elements of a thriller and social commentary interwoven within the plot. And all these roll out just nicely and rightly paced. No wonder it becomes one of the biggest selling movies in Korea, despite its modest production cost.


17 of 20 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 33 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Country:

South Korea

Language:

Korean

Release Date:

29 December 2005 (South Korea) See more »

Also Known As:

The King and the Clown See more »

Filming Locations:

Seoul, South Korea See more »

Edit

Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$74,539,870
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed