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The General's Son DVD Region 3

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The General's Son
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Customer Rating: Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10 (1)
All Editions Rating: Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8.2 out of 10 (4)

YesAsia Editorial Description

Director Im Kwon Taek is regarded by many as the father of modern Korean Cinema, and certainly the first Korean director to receive global critical acclaim. With around a hundred films to his credit, in a career spanning five decades, Im has crafted some of Korea's most revered and successful films.

The General's Son is set during the Japanese occupation of Korea, when the oppression of the imperial rulers is escalating in the streets of Seoul. Starring Park Sang Min (Tube) and Shin Hyun Jun (Face), The General's Son is a winning mixture of fast-paced action and colonial Korean realism, which helped the film become one of the biggest domestic hits of the 1990s.

This version comes with special features and gifts including:

  • Exclusive poster
  • Still gallery
  • Im Kwon Taek's Filmography

    plus more

  • © 2005-2017 Ltd. All rights reserved. This original content has been created by or licensed to, and cannot be copied or republished in any medium without the express written permission of

    Technical Information

    Product Title: The General's Son The General's Son (韓國版) The General's Son (韩国版) 将軍の息子 (The General's Son) (韓国版) 장군의 아들
    Artist Name(s): Park Sang Min | Shin Hyun Jun | Oh Yeon Soo | Im Kwon Taek 朴相民 | 申鉉濬 | 吳延秀 | 林權澤 朴相民 | 申铉濬 | 吴延秀 | 林权泽 パク・サンミン | シン・ヒョンジュン | オ・ヨンス | イム・グォンテク 박상민 | 신현준 | 오연수 | 임권택
    Release Date: 2005-10-31
    Language: Korean
    Subtitles: English, Korean
    Country of Origin: South Korea
    Picture Format: NTSC What is it?
    Disc Format(s): DVD
    Region Code: 3 - South East Asia (including Hong Kong, S. Korea and Taiwan) What is it?
    Duration: 108 (mins)
    Publisher: Spectrum DVD
    Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
    YesAsia Catalog No.: 1004071690

    Product Information

    * Screen Format : Anamorphic Widescreen
    * Sound Mix : Dolby 2.0
    * DVD Type : DVD-9
    * Extras :
    - 오리지널 포스터
    - 스틸 사진 모음
    - 필모그래피(임권택, 박상민, 신현준)

    * Director : 임권택

    1930년대 일제 암흑기 속, 서울 종로 바닥을 주름잡았던 한 영웅의 활약상을 그린 <장군의 아들>은 임권택 감독의 88번째 연출작이다. 무대 재현과 의상, 소품을 위해 7개월여가 소요될 만큼 엄청난 시간과 제작비가 투입된 이 작품은 당시 한국영화사상 최고 흥행기록을 달성하며 큰 성공을 거두었다. 이와 더불어 극중 김두한 역으로 영화계에 데뷔한 박상민은 대종상 신인 남자 배우상을 수상하는 영예도 안았다.

    8살 어린 나이에 고아가 되어 각설이 생활을 하며 이곳저곳을 떠돌아 다니던 김두한은 갖은 고생을 하다가 주먹계에 몸을 담게 된다. 그가 속한 조직은 우미관을 중심으로 한 종로일대를 무대로 하고 있었다. 점점 이 세계에서 인정을 받아가던 김두한이 학생주먹계의 대장인 신마적에 의해 김좌진 장군의 아들임이 밝혀지면서 그의 위치는 더욱 확고해진다. 한편 일본 야쿠자 세력이 종로에 들어와 행패를 부리자 김두한이 나서서 종로 상인들을 보호해주며 그들의 신임을 한몸에 얻는다. 그러던 중 우미관계의 우두머리인 대장 김기환이 잡혀 들어가게 되고 김두한은 명실공히 종로 주먹계의 우두머리가 된다.
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    YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

    Professional Review of "The General's Son"

    View Professional Review:
    September 5, 2006

    This professional review refers to The General's Son Collection Boxset
    The General's Son films are amongst the most famous works of renowned director Im Kwon Taek, undoubtedly one of the most important and influential figures in modern Korean cinema. Although in the West he is perhaps most associated with art house cinema as a result of the success of films such as Chihwaseon, which won him the 2002 best director award at Cannes, Im has a long history of more commercial fare, something which is unsurprising considering that he has over a hundred films to his credit in a career that spans more than five decades.

    The General's Son trilogy, which was based upon a novel by Hong Sung Yoo, certainly sees Im at the top of his game, being a great mixture of not only history, politics and themes of Korean national identity, but also of action and spectacle, packed with bloody, exciting fight scenes. Originally released back in the early 1990s when the Korean film industry was at a particularly low ebb, all three films in the trilogy were huge hits at the domestic box office, and provided a template for the country's new cinematic wave.

    The trilogy is set during the Japanese occupation of Korea, and is based on the life of Korean independence activist and fighter Doohan (played by Park Sang Min, later in action blockbuster Tube), a young man who is actually the son of a famous general, and who rises to rule the Jong Ro area and to wage his own war against the brutal Japanese invaders. The three films chart his progress from a lowly beggar to street thug, and eventually to respected gang leader and folk hero of the independence movement, a long and difficult journey which sees him fighting countless battles against a variety of powerful foes. As the years go by and the Japanese, led by the cruel Yakuza Hayashi (Shin Hyun Joon), gradually tighten their grip, Doohan's struggle grows ever more difficult as he finds himself up against all kinds of evil schemes and betrayals, often with only with his own two fists to rely upon.

    All trilogies need strong characters to keep viewers coming back, and The General's Son certainly has this in the form of Doohan. Far from being an idealised hero, the film never shies away from showing his flaws as well as heroic qualities, a fact which makes him all the more human, and ultimately more likeable. Thankfully, Im steers clear of the usual clichés of the rise to power genre, with Doohan's path taking many unexpected turns, being an epic tale which is unpredictable right up until its very end.

    The supporting cast are equally effective and relatively free of lame stereotypes, with even minor characters having their own believable motivations, and Im never feels the need to throw in needless subplots or forced resolutions to the many narrative threads. Similarly, although there are a number of female characters who ostensibly act as romantic interests for Doohan, they too are surprisingly well written and play far more important and telling roles than simply falling into his arms.

    Above all, Im is a great storyteller, and he allows Doohan's life to unfold at a good speed which is neither rushed nor languorous, and if anything the viewer is left at the end of the third film still wanting to follow him further. Im manages to pack a great deal into the films, and covers a lot of ground, not only in narrative terms but thematically as well. The depiction of the vicious Japanese colonisation never avoids the awful details, but also never reduces them to pantomime villains. As a result, whilst the three films are nationalistic affairs, they have a certain balance, being as concerned with Doohan's own personal conflicts as they are with that of the country.

    Im's direction is wonderfully cinematic throughout the trilogy, really bringing the period to life, and he manages to combine a great eye for detail and visual flair with a basic commercial sensibility which helps to ground the films as entertainment rather than history lessons. The action direction from Jung Doo Hong, who was later acknowledged as one of the originators of the gritty Korean action style, working on the likes of Taegukgi and Public Enemy, is excellent, being brutal and inventive without any excess of style or slow motion nonsense. All three films feature a good number of bloody brawls, many of them involving multiple opponents, since poor Doohan has an unfortunate habit of finding himself up against rather unfavourable odds.

    The General's Son trilogy is a must for any serious fans of Korean films who wish to explore beyond the popular new wave, as the three, and indeed most of Im's works, have had a major influence in shaping the country's modern cinema. Perhaps even more importantly, the three stand as an exciting and gripping saga filled with action and great characters, and should be enjoyed by viewers of all persuasions.

    by James Mudge -

    November 28, 2005

    The General's Son is a re-release of the 1990 film by Im Kwon Taek, a director with over a hundred films to his credit and a career which has spanned more than five decades. Undoubtedly one of the most important and influential figures in modern Korean cinema, Im has been one of the first to receive recognition outside his native land, most notably with Chihwaseon, which won him the 2002 best director award at Cannes. The General's Son is one of his most popular films, the first part of a trilogy and a major box office success during its original domestic release.

    The plot is based on the actual life of Korean independence activist and fighter Kim Doohan, beginning with his early years growing up as a beggar in the Jong Ro area, which many saw as being the symbolic heart of the country, during the Japanese oppression. Doohan becomes involved with the resident street gangs, moving rapidly up the ranks due to his considerable fighting skills and fierce bravery. It transpires that he is actually the son of a famous Korean general who is currently embroiled in struggles against the invaders, and Doohan himself gradually takes on a similar role, uniting the gangs, residents and student idealists, and fighting back against the cruel Japanese.

    The film is obviously a heroic, patriotic piece, and as such is perhaps likely to mean more to Korean viewers, or those with knowledge of the history of the time. However, the plot itself is generic enough, based upon themes of courage and pride, which should give it a universal appeal. Although fairly predictable, and offering no real narrative surprises, The General's Son is nevertheless well told, and works both as a depiction of a man's personal battle to take his place in the world, and that of a nation attempting to throw off the shackles of tyranny.

    The main problem with the narrative is that Doohan's character is never really explored beyond his actions, and some of his motivations and acts of bravery, though merited by circumstance, would have benefited from deeper exploration. This is a shame, as the character is an interesting figure, and his fascinating emergence from the violent gang world to become a statesman and political figure deserves more in depth examination. As a result, his character does not develop significantly during the film, and he is easier to sympathize with as a symbol rather than an individual, which robs the film of some of its emotional impact.

    Similarly, a number of plot points and thematically important supporting characters are glossed over or mentioned only briefly, serving only to undermine the narrative. This is especially true towards the end, when a couple of plot twists are hurriedly introduced, to slightly confusing effect.

    Although The General's Son is lacking in character development, and is rather clumsy in revealing some of its secrets, it is well paced, with a number of fight scenes to keep things interesting. The film comes across as a mixture of a serious, fact based historical drama and an action packed gangster film. This is an odd combination, which is surprisingly successful, and though perhaps not quite offering enough for purists of either camp, it is, in general, very entertaining.

    Im directs with a rich cinematic flair and a great eye for period detail, which helps to bring the Jong Ro area and its inhabitants to life in a convincing fashion. The fight scenes are brief and somewhat one-sided, though exciting and shot from a number of interesting angles which give them a gritty, realistic feel. The director's style is measured and pleasingly unobtrusive, in sharp contrast to the flashy editing and gimmicky techniques of modern cinema.

    The General's Son is a worthy film, and for the casual viewer, it's a good sample of the large body of work from its director. Whether taken as a slice of patriotic drama, or an action film with more depth than the genre usually offers, The General's Son deserves to be as well known outside Korea as some of the director's more artistically inclined and weighty efforts.

    Movie Grade: 3.5/5

    Review by James -

    This original content has been created by or licensed to, and cannot be copied or republished in any medium without the express written permission of

    Customer Review of "The General's Son"

    Average Customer Rating for this Edition: Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10 (1)
    Average Customer Rating for All Editions of this Product: Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8.2 out of 10 (4)

    See all my reviews

    June 18, 2008

    This customer review refers to The General's Son Collection Boxset
    1 people found this review helpful

    Very good Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10
    Did you find this review helpful? Yes (Report This)
    Kevin Kennedy
    See all my reviews

    February 29, 2008

    1 people found this review helpful

    The General's son can fight! Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10
    Non-Koreans like me might take some time to find their footing in director Im Kwon Taek's "The General's Son". Due to the unfamiliarity of this historical setting, the many errors in the English subtitles, and the confusion caused by the casting of Korean actors (indeed, very distintly Korean-looking actors) as the Japanese characters, I'm sure that a fair amount of the story escaped me. However, the heart of the story is quite simple.

    Set during Japan's occupation of Korea, "The General's Son" tells of the rise of Kim Doohan (Park Sang Min) from an imprisoned beggar to the head of a gang that appears to form the core of Korean resistance to the occupation. Kim's climb to the top is sustained by his incomparable fighting prowess. Park Sang Min is convincing as this tough guy with a heart of gold.

    The story unfolds at a rapid pace; the movie really flies by. And the fight choreography is brutally spectacular. Im Kwon Taek clearly intended this film to be a rousing ode to Korean nationalistic pride. Judging by the film's box office receipts, he obviously succeeded. Fans of director Im's arthouse flicks should understand that "The General's Son" was intended to be a popular entertainment; it is as subtle as a sledgehammer.

    Viewers also should note that this is the first installment in a trilogy of "General's Son" movies; the manner in which this film ends clearly is intended to set up the second movie. I can recommend this first installment highly and I look forward to watching the second and third films in the series.
    Did you find this review helpful? Yes (Report This)
    Best Review

    August 6, 2003

    This customer review refers to General's Son I
    Yain Shidae is #1 Customer Review Rated Bad 5 - 5 out of 10
    Well this maybe the real thing or what not, but the real exciting one is Yain Shidae with Ahn Jae Mo. He is an awesome fighter
    Did you find this review helpful? Yes (Report This)

    November 5, 2002

    This customer review refers to General's Son I
    1 people found this review helpful

    legendary Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10
    this is the original korean gangster movie. forget all the fancy type..this is a true story about Kim Doo Han who was the greatest street fighter in korean history. must c!!
    Did you find this review helpful? Yes (Report This)
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