The Barefooted Young (Maenbal-ui cheongchun) (1964)|
Director : Kim Ki-Deok
Production Company : Keuk Dong Entertainment
Date of Rate : 1964-02-29
Running Time : 116 min.
Opening Theater : Academy Theater
Genre : Melodrama
Screenplay(Adaptation) : Seo Yun-Seong
Producer : Cha Tae-Jin
Executive Producer : Ma Won-Il
Director of PhotoGraphy : Byeon In-Jib
Gaffer : Park Jin-Su
Music : Lee Bong-Jo
Art Director : No In-Taek
Editor : Kim Ki-Deok
Shin Seong-Il, Eom Aeng-Ran, Kim Mi-Hye, Twist Kim
One day, gangster Cho Du-su (Shing Seong-il) sees Yoanna (Um Aing-ran) being harassed by hoodlums and comes to her aid. Yoanna, who is a college student and the daughter of a diplomat, is used to a life in the lap of luxury, whereas Du-su is an orphan who spends his days doing grunt work for an organized crime group. Despite their vastly different backgrounds, they share a mutual attraction for each other and become rapidly close. A devout Christian, Yoanna believes that Du-su is capable of getting a fresh start in life and asks her mother to find a job for him. However, her mother vehemently objects to their relationship and tries to send Yoanna to the U.S., where her father is. Yoanna and Du-su get away together, and in a old shed out in the countryside, they commit suicide together.
The film that opened the floodgates to a wave of youth films in the mid 1960s
Starring the celebrated idol couple Shin Seong-il and Um Aing-ran, The Barefooted Young is a melodrama that recounts the story of the impossible, tragic love between a man from the lower class and a woman from the upper crust. The characterization of the two romantic leads had a great impact on subsequent youth films especially Du-su, played by Shin Seong-il, who came to function as a historical icon. Clad in jeans and a leather jacket, his eyes glinting with defiance, making his way through life with nothing to his name but his own two hands, Du-su soon became the symbol for all young characters in rebellion against the older generation. Du-su and Yoanna truly love each other in spite of the difference in their social status, but they become trapped in the values of the establishment. They attempt to overcome reality by making the extreme choice of joint suicide, but they cannot be with each other even in death. The movie's final scene, in which Du-su's body is removed on a cart with a ratty straw mat for a cover and Yoanna's remains are carried out in a midsize sedan, is an unforgettable moment that drastically underscores this tragedy. At the same time, The Barefooted Young is interesting for the window it provides into youth culture of the time. Many of its most memorable elements recreated the undefined longing and desire experienced by the young generation including the "bar"as an exotic symbol of freedom, the luxurious vacation house with its manicured garden, and the dancing of the idiosyncratic character "Twist Kim."
- The Barefooted Young was tremendously popular, especially among the young. The white wool sweater worn by Shin Seong-il and the blue-jean-and-jacket combo donned by Twist Kim sold like hot cakes at the markets in Namdaemun and Dongdaemun. In addition, the scene in which Twist Kim dances the twist made this distinctive dance style the latest rage among the young.
- Some critics of the film accused it of being "a youth picture of unknown nationality," and "an adaptation of Japanese film, Crazed Fruit(1956) directed by Nakahira Ko."
Director Bio: Kim Ki-deok (1934- )
He graduated with a degree in creative writing from Sorabol University of Arts in 1956 and began his life in movies as an editor that year. He made his directorial debut in 1961 with the war movie, Five Marines (O in-ui haebyeong) (1961). In 1964, he achieved unprecedented box office success with his movie, The Barefooted Young (Maenbal-ui Cheongchun) (1964) and became recognized as a hit-producing director. He directed successful movies in various genres. Along with A Burning Youth (Bultaneun Cheongchun) (1966), the sequel to The Barefooted Young, he directed many movies with youth as the subject. He also directed The North and South (Namgwa Buk) (1965), one of the most famous melodramatic films in Korean cinematic history as well as the sci-fi film, Monster Yonggari (Daegoesu Yonggari) (1967). His other major works include Private Tutor (Gajeonggyosa) (1963), Keep Silent When Leaving (Tteonal Ddaeneun Mareopossi) (1964), Young Teacher(Cheongchungyosa) (1972), and A flowery bier(Kkochsang-yeo) (1974).