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Stray Bullet (1960)

Director: Yu Hyun-Mok
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Studio: Cinema Epoch
Genre: Drama, Foreign, Suspense/Thriller, Politics and Social Issues, Korea, Dysfunctional Families
Running Time: 108 min.
Languages: Korean
Subtitles: English
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Song Chul-Ho (Kim Jin-Kyu) is a clerk in an accounting office in the bombed-out city of Seoul just after the Korean War. On his meager salary he has to support his mentally unstable mother, his desperately lonely sister, his pregnant wife and two young children, and his younger brother, Yong-Ho (Choi Mu-Ryong), a veteran who has not been able to find work, and who spends his nights drinking and carousing with his army buddies. With so many mouths to feed, Chul-Ho doesn't feel that he can afford to see a dentist about the toothache that's been bothering him for weeks. To add to Chul-Ho's woes, one night the police call to tell him that his sister, Myong-Sik, has been locked up for her nightly assignations with American soldiers. Meanwhile, Yong-Ho, a hero during the war, is growing increasingly bitter about how his life's gone since then. The woman he's been pursuing, Miri, offers to get him a job acting in a film, but when he finds out he's been chosen for his battle scars, he angrily storms off the set. He shares a few fleeting moments of happiness when he runs into Oh Sul-Hee, a pretty nurse he met when he was wounded in combat. But neither Chul-Ho, the "good" brother, nor Yong-Ho, the "bad," seems to be able to find a way out of despair. Yu Hyun-Mok's gritty drama, banned on its initial release in 1961, is frequently listed as one of the greatest Korean films of all time. It was shown by the Film Society of Lincoln Center in 2004 as part of a series, The Newest Tiger: 60 Years of Korean Cinema. ~ Josh Ralske, All Movie Guide

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