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Yalkae, A Joker In High School (Gogyo-yalgae) (1976)

Director : Seok Rae-Myeong
Production Company : Yun Bang Films Co., Ltd
Date of Rate : 1976-12-30
Number of Rate :
Date of Theatrical Release : 1977-01-29
Running Time : 90 min.
Opening Theater : Kukdo Theater
Genre : Comedy

Staff :
Writer : Cho Heun-Pa
Screenplay(Adaptation) : Yoon Sam-Yuk
Producer : Choi Cun-Ji
Director of PhotoGraphy : Jeong Il-Seong
Gaffer : Sohn Young-Cheol
Music : Choi Chang-Kwon
Editor : Lee Kyeong-Ja

Cast(Actor/Actress) :
Lee Seung-Hyeon, Kim Jeong-Hun, Ha Myeong-Jung, Jeong Yun-Hee, Kang Ju-Hee

Synopsis

Na Du-su (Lee Seung-hyeon), who sports the nickname of "Yalkae" (meaning "cheeky, cocky person"), has been a high school sophomore for two years. His partner-in-mischief Yong-ho (Jin Woo-young), whose father runs a hospital, is also repeating his grade. Together, they play pranks on their friends and teachers and neglect their studies, thereby earning a notorious reputation as "problem"students. One day, Du-su goes to the house of a teacher named Baek Sang-do (Hah Myung-joong), who rents a room from a grocery store owner, for after-school lessons. There, he falls for In-suk (Kang Ju-hee), whose mother owns the grocery store. When a classmate named Ho-cheol tells on him to Mr. Baek, he decides to get Ho-cheol back. During class, he paints Ho-cheol's glasses red and yells, "Fire!" Ho-cheol ends up getting his glasses broken, and Du-su gets sent to the principal's office. When Ho-cheol fails to show up at school after that day, Du-su goes to his house. He sheds tears of remorse when he learns that Ho-cheol, whose family is too poor to afford a new pair of glasses for him, fell during his milk deliveries and injured his leg. Du-su takes on the deliveries in Ho-cheol's stead. He even takes notes in class for Ho-cheol, and begins to develop an interest in study. While continuing to run the milk delivery route in secret, he gets into a car accident and hurts his arm. Du-su's good deeds come to light because of the accident, winning him the approbation of his family and his teachers. Even In-suk, who had pretended to act coldly toward Du-su to make him come to his senses, visits him with a bouquet of flowers in her hand.

Notes

"If Heavenly Homecoming to Stars (Byeoldeul-ui gohyang) owes its box office success to the support of the youth demographic, the success of Yalkaecan be attributed to the enthusiastic response shown by high school students." (Cho Kwan-hee)
Yalkae, A Joker In High School (Gogyo-yalgae) is the original movie that spawned the wildly popular Yalkae Series in the 1970s. Based on Cho Heun-pa's bestselling novel A Legend of Urchins (Yalgaejeon), this representative high-teen movie succeeded in drawing an audience of 250,000 during its impressive theatrical run. Rather than focusing on the inner conflicts and turmoils of teenagers, Yalkae comically and lightheartedly presents the kinds of trivial episodes that anyone might have experienced in high school. The film utilizes generation gaps and the different reactions that result from them as its chief strategy for eliciting laughter. Seen from the perspective of such representatives of the older generation as teachers and parents, the eponymous prankster's antics are certainly deserving of reprimand. At one point, Yalkae even comes on the verge of expulsion for making fun of the principal. However, from the viewpoint of his peers, his pranks are eminently forgivable. This generational complicity is what made the nation's teenaged audiences respond to the film with such wild enthusiasm. But rather than delving deeply into the differences between generations and the conflicted relationship that results therefrom, Yalkae ends with inter-generational reconciliation. That is, Yalkae's moral awakening and his subsequent good deeds are welcomed by his family and his teachers alike. Although the film is somewhat limited in focusing primarily on the wholesomeness and innocence of teenagers, it offers plenty of entertainment distinctive to the genre of the high teen movie. With its vivacious lines and detailed delineation of playful antics, the movie vividly brings out this entertainment value. It also opens a window onto high school life, the lives of teenagers, and the social, cultural atmosphere of the time. The young actors who led the cast of Yalkae Lee Seung-hyeon, Kim Jeong-hun, and Kang Ju-hee were idols for the younger generation at the time.

Afterword:

- The movie spawned numerous sequels and spinoffs in the early 1980s, including Wild Scoundrels of College (Daehakyalgae, 1982) and The Scoundrel Rookie (Sinipsawon yal-gae, 1983).

Director Bio: Seok Rae-myeong (1936- )

Born in 1936. He led the trend in teen movies during the 1970s. He made his directorial debut with Until next time (Mi-wodo annyeong) (1971). After the success of his 1976 film, A Joker In High School (Gogyo-yalgae) (1976), he directed Mischief's Marching Song (Yalgaehaengjingog) (1977), Prankster of Girl's High School(Yeogo-yalgae) (1977), and Our High School Days (Ulideul-ui gogyosidae) (1978), leading a boom in teen movies during the late 70s. His other works include Under an Umbrella (Ga-eulbi usansog-e) (1979) and My Love, Don Quixote (Naesarang Dongkihote) (1989).