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.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Dae-han Ji ...
No Joo-hwan
...
...
...
Yoo Hyung-ja (as Seung-Shin Lee)
...
Lee Soo-ah
Dae-yeon Lee ...
Beggar
Kwang-rok Oh ...
Suicidal Man
Tae-kyung Oh ...
Young Dae-su
Yeon-Seok Yoo ...
Young Woo-jin (as Yeon-suk Ahn)
Il-han Oo ...
Young Joo-hwan
Su-hyeon Kim
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:

Imprisoned for 15 years... ...5 days to seek revenge See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 November 2003 (South Korea)  »

Also Known As:

Oldboy  »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$44,465 (Hong Kong) (15 October 2004)

Gross:

$707,481 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to the cast commentary, Min-sik Choi wanted the cameraman to follow his legs when playing with the toy wings. He was trying to do a "moonwalk" originally done by Michael Jackson. See more »

Goofs

In the scene when Woo-jin Lee was pulling Lee Soo-ah's hand on the bridge, there was an angle that showed Lee Soo-ah's dummy stunt double. See more »

Quotes

Dae-su Oh: Even though I'm no more than a monster - don't I, too, have the right to live?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Other Guy Part .37 (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Waltz
from "Masquerade"
by Aram Khachaturyan
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
If only we were all living in Asia....
19 December 2007 | by (Netherlands) – See 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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