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Yu Hyun-mok (July 2, 1925 – June 28, 2009) was a South Korean film director. Born in Sariwon, Hwanghae, Korea (North Korea today), he made his film debut in 1956 with Gyocharo (Crossroads).[1] According to the website, his 1961 film Obaltan "has repeatedly been voted the best Korean film of all time in local critics' polls."[1] Yu attended the San Francisco International Film Festival in 1963, where Variety called Obaltan a "remarkable film", and praised Yu's "[b]rilliantly detailed camera" and the film's "probing sympathy and rich characterizations."[2]

Yu Hyun-mok
Yu Hyun-mok.jpg
Native name
Born(1925-07-02)July 2, 1925
DiedJune 28, 2009(2009-06-28) (aged 83)
Years active1948–2007
AwardsROK Order of Cultural Merit Geum-gwan (1st Class) ribbon.PNG Geumgwan Order of Cultural Merit (2009)
Korean name
Revised RomanizationYu Hyeon-mok
McCune–ReischauerYu Hyŏnmok

His dedication to the intellectual side of film and interest in using film to deal with social and political issues led him to have difficulties both with box-office-oriented producers, and with Korea's military government during the 1960s and 1970s.[1] Korean critics have said his directing style is "in the tradition of the Italian Neorealists," yet "the terms 'modernist' or 'expressionistic' [are] just as applicable to his works."[3]

Besides his directing activities, he has taught film,[1] and made a significant contribution to Korean animation by producing Kim Cheong-gi's 1976 animated film, Robot Taekwon V. A retrospective of Yu's career was held at the 4th Pusan International Film Festival in 1999.[3]

Yu died from a stroke on June 28, 2009.[4]



Title Original Title Transliteration year
The Crossroad 교차로 Gyocharo 1956
The Lost Youth 잃어버린 청춘 Irobeorin Cheongchun 1957
The Life Seized 인생차압 Insaeng Chaab 1958
Forever With You 그대와 영원히 Geudae-wa Yeongwon-hi 1958
Beautiful Woman 아름다운 여인 Areumda-un Yeo-in 1959
Even the Clouds Are Drifting 구름은 흘러가도 Gureum-un Heulleogado 1959
The Aimless Bullet 오발탄 Obaltan 1961
To Give Freely 아낌 없이 주련다 Akkim Eobsi Juryeonda 1962
Great hero, Yi Sun-Sin 성웅 이순신 Seong-ung Yi Sun-sin 1962
Daughters of Pharmacist Kim 김약국집 딸들 Kim Yakkuk Jip Ttaldeul 1963
The Blue Dream shall Shine 푸른 꿈은 빛나리 Pureun Ggum-eun Bitnari 1963
Extra Human Being 잉여인간 Ingyeo Ingan 1964
Wife's Confession 아내는 고백한다 Anae-neun Gobaekhanda 1964
Sleep Under The Blue Star 푸른 별아래 잠들게 하라 Pureun Byeolarae Jamdeul-ge Hara 1965
An Empty Dream 춘몽 Chunmong 1965
Martyr 순교자 Sungyoja 1965
Secret Marriage Operation 특급 결혼작전 Teukgeup Gyeolhon Jakjeon 1966
Sun will rise again 태양은 다시 뜬다 Taeyang-eun Dasi Ddeunda 1966
Guests Who Arrived on the Last Train 막차로 온 손님들 Makcharo On Son-nim-deul 1967
Three Henpeck Generations 공처가 삼대 Gongcheoga Samdae 1967
Han Han 1967
Arirang 아리랑 Arirang 1968
Han 2 한 2 Han 1968
Descendants of Cain 카인의 후예 Kain-ui Huye 1968
I'll Give You Everything 몽땅 드릴까요 Mongddang Deuril Kkayo 1968
Yeo A Woman 1968
Nightmare 악몽 Akmong 1968
School Excursion 수학여행 Suhak Yeohaeng 1969
I Would Like to Become a Human 나도 인간이 되련다 Nado Ingan-i Doe-Ryeonda 1969
Two husbands 두여보 Du Yeobo 1970
Bun-Rye's Story 분례기 Bunlyegi 1971
Flame 불꽃 Bulkkot 1975
The Gate Mun 1977
Once upon a time, Hweo-oi Hweo-i 옛날 옛적에 훠어이 훠이 Yetnal Yetjeok-e, Hweo-oi Hweo-i 1978
Rainy Days 장마 Jangma 1979
A Song Everyone Wants to Sing Together 다함께 부르고 싶은 노래 Dahamggye Bureugo Sipeun Norae 1979
Son of Man 사람의 아들 Saram-ui Adul 1980
Ruinded Reeds 상한 갈대 Sanghan Galdae 1984
Mommy, Star, and Sea Anemone 말미잘 Malmijal 1995


  • Blue Dragon Film Awards
    • Best Picture/Best Director (Descendant of Cain) (1968)
  • Grand Bell Awards
    • Best Director (To Give Freely) (1962)
    • Best Director (Martyr) (1965)
    • Best Director (Bun-Rye's Story) (1971)
    • Best Picture (Flame) (1975)
    • Honorary Director Award (1995)
  • Korean Film Critics Awards
    • Best Director (Son of Man) (1980)
  • Order of Cultural Merit, Korean government (1988)
  • Pusan International Film Festival
    • Award for Artistic Contribution (2003)


  1. ^ a b c d "The Yu Hyun-mok Page". Retrieved 2007-05-07.
  2. ^ Judy. (1963-11-13). "The Aimless Bullet". Variety.
  3. ^ a b Paquet, Darcy. "Yu Hyun-mok's School Excursion (1969)". Retrieved 2007-05-07.
  4. ^ Yu, pioneering filmmaker, passes away Korea Herald Retrieved on 2009-06-29.
  • Lee, Young-il (1988). The History of Korean Cinema. Motion Picture Promotion Corporation. p. 336. ISBN 89-88095-12-X.
  • Min, Eungjun; Joo Jinsook; Kwak HanJu (2003). Korean Film : History, Resistance, and Democratic Imagination. Westport, Connecticut: Praeger Publishers. pp. 41, 44–46, 52, 57, 62–63. ISBN 0-275-95811-6.
  • "Filmography of Yu Hyun-mok" (in Korean). DAUM Movie DB.

External linksEdit