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4.5 out of 5 stars 78 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Mysterious drifter Tae-suk enters other peoples' lives as easily as he breaks into their unoccupiedhomes. Instead of stealing their riches, he repays his hosts' unknowing hospitality by fixing broken items, cleaning up, even doing their laundry. But when he sneaks into a sprawling mansion, he discovers a beautiful, lonely wife named Sun-hwa, trapped in a loveless marriage. Without saying a word, the pair begin an erotic game of cat-and-mouse, until her abusive husband returns home, unleashing a shocking burst of violence. Tae-suk defends Sun-hwa with the aid of her husband's golf club. The lovers run away together finding domestic bliss inhabiting strangers' homes. Later, when Tae-suk is framed for a murder, even prison walls can't keep them apart for good.


Words really do get in the way in 3-Iron, a strange, poignant South Korean film from director Kim Ki-Duk (Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring) in which the central character doesn't utter a single word. It's not explained why the puck never speaks, but it adds an element of mysticism to this love story that's at once humorous and disturbing. In this case, the knight in shining armor, Tae-Suk (Hee Jae) is a vagabond who supports himself by breaking into people's homes when they're on vacation. But rather than steal possessions, he cooks himself a meal, carefully washes the dishes, takes a bath, does their laundry, fixes anything broken, sleeps in their pajamas, and leaves each home spic and span. One day he trespasses on the home of a battered wife (Seung-yon Lee) who's still home. Fascinated, she leaves her husband and joins in his adventures, until one of their random break-ins gets them in trouble and the couple is forced apart.

Adding in a reliance on some stunning visuals, 3-Iron does a good job filling itself out in a non-implicit way. In this case, compliments and banter aren't needed to tell you that the pair has found a bond that no one can wrest away from them. The ending may tickle suspended reality (it's either becoming supernatural or someone's a lot more nimble than we thought), but it's still a poetic conclusion to this twisted fairy tale. --Ellen A. Kim

Special Features

  • Director audio commentary

Product Details

  • Actors: Hee Jae, Seung-yeon Lee
  • Directors: Ki-duk Kim
  • Producers: Ki-duk Kim
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: French (Dolby Digital 2.1), Korean (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: September 6, 2005
  • Run Time: 88 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000A1OFZA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,680 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "3-Iron" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Lee Armstrong HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on November 21, 2005
Format: DVD
"3-Iron" is a delightful surprise. Kim Ki-duk's "Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter" was so lyrical and so cinematically beautiful that it is amazing that this DVD keeps up that film's quality. The fact that most of the film is nonverbal makes this subtitled drama particularly easy for international audiences to adopt. Jae Hee Song as the young lead Tae-suk is good looking and keeps our eyes glued to the screen. The unusual plot of a young man who breaks into houses and apartments while the owners are away is filled with lyrical details. In one scene, he carefully selects a toothbrush before sitting on the toilet brushing his teeth. He seems to experience the lives of the people by seeing their surroundings, cleaning their clothes, fixing appliances & eating their food. Lee Seung-yeon was in a 1996 film about a serial killer called "Pianoman" before taking on the role of Sun-hwa. Sun is an abused wife of a controlling husband. Tae-suk inhabits her house as she quietly observes him taking a bath and reveals herself to him as he lies in her bed self-stimulating to nude pictures of her from an album. Her middle aged controlling husband Min-kyo played by Gweon Hyeok-ho returns from a business trip. He has bruised her face and bloodied her lip and blames her for not picking up the phone and speaking to him. Depressed, she falls into an exquisite wordlessness that suits Tae-suk's observant lifestyle of stepping into other people's lives. After the husband has slapped his wife, Tae-suk launches golf balls into the squealing husband.Read more ›
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Format: DVD
Few years ago, Korea came up with its version of "Dangerous Liasons" based on the French novel of the same name and it triumphed starring "Yongsama", the actor who was literally stalked by mainly Japanese housewives and grandmothers after his performance at TV series, "Winter Sonata". Then, I was hungrily seeking for yet another Korean historical political intrigue and "The Royal Jester" doesn't disappoint. This offering is loosely based upon the writing of the Korean Emperor during the 16th century (Chosun Dynasty) of his affection for his courtjester. This movie is rather a combination of different things. It can also be deemed a Korean version of "Farewell my Concubine" where two actors (one masculine and another feminine even though they are both males) decided to try their trade at Seoul after running away from countryside where a freak accident has them injured fatally their gangleader.There, they befriended three other actors . Without a doubt, the two main characters are the talented duos and they have the audacity to play to the folks regarding the hearsay of the Korean Emperor and his favourite Empress.They get (un)wanted attention & sentenced to death. Somehow, they cheat death by being able to make the Emperor happy. Alas, the actors become the pawns of political intrigue. Originally, under the guidance of the Emperor's faithfuly advisor, the actors are instructed to play the stories of corrupted Ministers for all to see and swiftly bringing them to justice. The ploy works for a while until it becomes pear-shaped as the Emperor becomes more incorrigble and losing his mind in the way he conducts the affairs of the nation. He becomes more like a tyrant or a despot.Read more ›
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Format: DVD
One of the more talented Korean directors working today is Kim-ki Duk whose latest film 3-Iron, was released this year (2005) here in the US and is out on DVD domestically in September. This is the tale of a young guy--nameless-who makes a meager living as a distributor of promo flyers for an eating establishment and also has the habit of breaking into the homes of people who are away so he can eat their food and maybe take a nap. But he's not completely malicious; one of his great virtues is the ability to clean clothes by hand.

One such house he breaks into is that of a middle-aged man with a young wife who's been mistreated. As he goes about his gentle intruder business he doesn't realize, at first, that the wife is right there in the house with him, although her husband is not. It's obvious from her appearance that she's been recently roughed up. She watches him fascinated and finally makes her presence known.

The two of them hook up with each other almost immediately and as one thing leads to another, the convergence of the spurned husband, an angry cop, an angrier prison guard, and the two lovers--along with the game of golf (from which the film derives its title) results in a unique film that, although almost 70% dialogue free, is a really compelling love story.

There's a sequence in a prison cell with the male lead that is truly imaginative, absorbing, even compelling. And the device of the scale being modified (our protagonist is also an expert at "fixing" things) is very clever, especially as shown at the very end of the film when the lovers stand on the scale together and the combined weight is somewhat less than it should be.
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