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Memories of Murder

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Product Details

  • Actors: Kang-ho Song, Sang-kyung Kim, Roe-ha Kim, Jae-ho Song, Hie-bong Byeon
  • Directors: Joon-ho Bong
  • Writers: Joon-ho Bong, Kwang-rim Kim, Sung-bo Shim
  • Producers: Jae-Won Choi, Jong-yun No, Kang-bok Lee, Moo Ryung Kim
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Korean (Unknown), English (Unknown)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Palm Pictures / Umvd
  • DVD Release Date: August 9, 2005
  • Run Time: 132 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0009XRZQK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,306 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Memories of Murder" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Cast & Crew Interviews
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Previews
  • Weblinks

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Based on the true story of South Korea’s first serial killer. When women start turning up dead in a small town in S. Korea in 1986, two reluctantly-partnered cops resolve to bring him to justice. Without DNA testing or modern forensics, the investigators are forced to rely mainly on intuition and brute force. At times both touching and hilarious, MEMORIES OF MURDER is a riveting tale of a mysterious killer and the ceaseless pressure on those charged with stopping his rampage.


A South Korean thriller based on a true story, Memories of Murder comes across like a hybrid of Silence of the Lambs and One False Move. A pair of rural detectives, Park (Song Kang-ho) and Jo (Kim Roe-ha), chafe when a Seoul detective named Seo (Kim Sang-kyung) gets involved in their big case: Korea's first known serial killer, who's killed two women on rainy nights. Seo is dismayed by the rural cops' interrogation methods, which consist of beating suspects until they confess--and they aren't above planting evidence or "helping" a suspect remember the details of his crime. While Park and Jo seek clues from fortune tellers and magic charms, Seo struggles to build a case from hard evidence and the forensic approaches only just starting to take hold (the movie is set in 1986). Shots of the victims and jolting moments of violence give Memories of Murder a dose of gruesomeness, but the movie has more on its mind that exploitation. Visually stylish and psychologically astute, Memories of Murder is as much a portrait of cultural change as a serial killer mystery. --Bret Fetzer

Customer Reviews

Despite of a dark story, director also added many humorous elements in this film.
It is difficult to say, "I love this movie", just as it is hard to say, I love Silence of the Lambs, because love is a peculiar word to use for such fare.
A. Murray
If you are in the mood for a suspenseful movie that has some comedic and good acting - check this movie out.
Caroline K

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

69 of 73 people found the following review helpful By A. Murray on February 19, 2006
Format: DVD
Since a synopsis would be redundant here, I'll confine myself to praise alone.

Each positive comment that precedes this is accurate. I watched this movie yesterday. I couldn't take my eyes off it. Everything taking place onscreen was riveting, from the simple act of walking down a dark lonely road in the rain, to a wild chase by three desperate detectives. This movie held me in thrall.

As a new viewer of Asian movies, I try to analyze the reason I tend not to be interested in western works any longer. I finally came to the conclusion that it has to do with the accessibility of the players. They seem to be people first, actors by choice, and stars, by the public making them so.

In Memories of Murder, I saw this human factor almost too painfully. By the end of the story, I was in tears. Even now, the mood prevails. It's been so long since these crimes took place, and I don't know absolutely that they remain unsolved, but I think it's the case, and I think about that.

The actors have become the people in my mind, and the horrible sense of defeat that becomes palpable eventually, is heartbreaking. When one relates to the inroads made on the health; mental and physical; of the detectives, who are ultimately portrayed as tireless and completely dedicated to the case, you realize that you've watched something that is historic. You have seen the probable truth.

The way this movie draws you into it, so that you are walking through dangerous rain, with a warning shout in your throat, points to the brilliance of the director and the players.

It is difficult to say, "I love this movie", just as it is hard to say, I love Silence of the Lambs, because love is a peculiar word to use for such fare.
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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful By amedusa50x on July 15, 2005
Format: DVD
Heads up, everyone! Despite the fact that Nancy Allen is listed here by amazon.com as starring in this film, she most definitely does not. The film being advertised here as due to be released on DVD in August 2005 in the U.S. is a Korean film originally released overseas in 2003 under the title "Salinui Chueok," its title in English being "Memories of Murder." It's an amazing, unique, intense, sometimes hilarious, always fiercely intelligent murder mystery from the powerful young Korean director Joon-ho Bong and features a 100% Korean cast speaking Korean (with English subtitles). Nancy Allen only wishes she'd been in this movie!

A few hours ago I was in the grip of insomnia and was playing around with Comcast On Demand to see if there was anything worth seeing that I hadn't seen already when I noticed a section under Free Movies called "Palm Pictures," a section I hadn't explored before. I clicked on "Palm Pictures," then on "Palm Festival," saw "Memories of Murder" listed, read the brief synopsis, and figured, what the heck, there's no better time to watch a Korean film than 2 a.m., so I went for it, figuring it wouldn't be a tragedy if I wound up dozing off ...

Not a chance! I was wide-eyed with my mouth open from beginning to end. Never even made it to the fridge. Forgot all about eating, drinking, or even breathing at times, and sleep was definitely not an option. Once the end credits rolled, I was hurtling toward my computer with one question in my mind: "Who is this astounding dude Joon-ho Bong, and where oh where can I buy a DVD of this movie?"

Well ...
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 15, 2005
Format: DVD
In the 1986 when South Korea was under totalitarian rule there was a series of grisly murders of young women in a rural area. The rural police used unconventional methods in order to attempt to uncover the identity of the killer after they discovered the first body. When a second body is discovered a police officer from Seoul is sent to help with the investigation, but the rural police become more crude in their methods. This leads to a further distrust of the police force as it begins to cloud the police force's own judgment as more bodies are discovered. Memories of Murder is an interesting investigation story that displays a societal phenomenon of the rural area that is plagued of poor policing and a murderer. The director Joon-ho Bong creates an intelligent and brilliant cinematic experience as he reveals the truth behind a true event that took place in South Korea in 1986.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Pansori on June 6, 2006
Format: DVD
Memories of Murder is based on the true story of S. Korea's first reported serial killer. The murders occur in a country town and focus on the year 1986. Detective Park (the wonderful Kang Ho Song) and Detective Cho are assigned to the case, but the investigation is poor, and the detectives inexperienced in such serious crimes. Their idea of solving the case is by beating, torturing and coercing confessions out of any outcast that comes under their radar.
Detective Seo from Seoul is brought onto the case to help with the investigation, but even after a few hopeful leads the case seems to go nowhere.
Memories of Murder shows an interesting twist to the police procedural. The director and writer, Joon Ho Bong, brings something to the genre you don't often see: comedy. For those who are use to seeing Kang Ho Song as a composed and calculated man (such as he was in Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance and JSA)will be surprised to find him more as a bumbling, obnoxious country bumpkin detective. He's particularly amusing though, especially when singing off key in a bar.
There are other great touches in the film; like for example after the detectives finish interviewing a suspect about the murder they are shown casually pushing their stalled car down the road. And you won't see anyone do better drop kicks in cinema than the actors do in this film.
I had a few problems with Memories. There was an unnecessary sex scene that seems out of place in the film, and the amputation of a detective's leg is mentioned, and then never brought up again. The movie also has a few cliches, but all of these problems were small as compared to the movie as a whole.
Memories of Murder does not treat the true events lightly, as we see the detectives pour their hearts into finding the serial killer. Unfortunately, so far the effort has been for not.
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