A woman is hired as a handmaiden to a Japanese heiress, but secretly she is involved in a plot to defraud her.


Chan-wook Park


Sarah Waters (inspired by the novel "Fingersmith" by), Seo-kyeong Jeong (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
485 ( 25)
Top Rated Movies #214 | Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 66 wins & 106 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Kim Tae-ri ... Sook-Hee (as Tae Ri Kim)
Yong-nyeo Lee ... Bok-soon
Min-chae Yoo Min-chae Yoo ... Ggeut-dan
Dong-hwi Lee ... Goo-gai
Kim Hae-sook ... Miss Sasaki (as Hae-suk Kim)
Kim Min-hee ... Lady Hideko
Jung-woo Ha ... Count Fujiwara
Kyu-jung Lee Kyu-jung Lee ... Maid 1
Si-eun Kim Si-eun Kim ... Maid 2
Si-yeon Ha Si-yeon Ha ... Maid 3
Rina Takagi Rina Takagi ... Hideko's Mother
Cho Jin-woong ... Uncle Kouzuki (as Jin-woong Jo)
Geun-hee Won Geun-hee Won ... Butler
Jong-Dae Kim Jong-Dae Kim ... Mansion Driver
Han-sun Jang Han-sun Jang ... Kouzuki Porter


1930s Korea, in the period of Japanese occupation, a new girl (Sookee) is hired as a handmaiden to a Japanese heiress (Hideko) who lives a secluded life on a large countryside estate with her domineering Uncle (Kouzuki). But the maid has a secret. She is a pickpocket recruited by a swindler posing as a Japanese Count to help him seduce the Lady to elope with him, rob her of her fortune, and lock her up in a madhouse. The plan seems to proceed according to plan until Sookee and Hideko discover some unexpected emotions. Written by CJ Entertainment

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Never did they expect to get into a controversial relationship...


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Kim Tae-ri improvised the moment where Sook-hee shakes off her hand in disgust after Count Fujiwara forcefully placed it on his crotch. Park Chan-wook liked it so much that he kept it in the final cut. See more »


Mercury is a slow (typically chronic not acute) poison that will kill victims over a period of days not within minutes. Metallic mercury in the tiny amounts presented would not be lethal at all in the circumstances shown. See more »


Lady Hideko: You can even curse at me or steal things from me. But please don't lie to me. Understand?
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the credits, the moon on the wall in the background shifts from full to new. See more »

Alternate Versions

Extended version runs approx. 21 minutes longer. See more »


So This was the Scent
Vocals by Kim Tae-ri
See more »

User Reviews

Not Old Boy, but that's OK
16 July 2016 | by etismyname-09318See all my reviews

Sex. One of the most overused element in cinema and often mis-used and unnecessary. I was concerned when this movie is announced, a mis-used sex scene could make the movie feels cheap.

This movie did manage to get it quite right.There were scenes of sexual attractions in many parts of the movie but it did not take away all other elements that were done well in the movie.

Thematically beautiful, the mansion itself is split half between a western and Japanese. The costume design and cinematography are perfect. The west : grand and luxury; The Japanese : Clean, simple elegant design.

The story can be summed up as a hero saving a princess and is split into 3 parts. I loved the first two parts, the third part was the only disappointing part where the plot was predictable and not as interesting and it being the last part makes the movie fell short.

The music is perfect. Just like Old Boy, music is more crucial than other movies. Old Boy is a movie that would make you think of a modernized hero revenge movie that is both realistic and unbelievable. The music have strong presence to help build up that world. Same goes with this movie as it is also a very realistic setting (you know the period of time it is based upon, the characters motives are clear and their actions are) yet with some very unbelievable events when you add everything together.

It isn't a perfect movie, I saw some editing that could be improved here and there. The last part was also a small disappointment for myself. But it is a damn unique movie that you have to watch.

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South Korea


Korean | Japanese

Release Date:

1 June 2016 (South Korea) See more »

Also Known As:

The Handmaiden See more »

Filming Locations:

Nagoya, Aichi, Japan See more »


Box Office


KRW10,000,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$92,129, 23 October 2016

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (extended)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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