Title: The Letter / 편지 / Pyeonji
Directed by: Lee Jung-gook
Written by: Lee Jung-gook, Kim Mu-ryeong,Cho Hwan-yoo
Starring: Choi Jin-sil, Park Shin-yang
Release date: 22 November 1997
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[Language: English / Format: .srt]
Things couldn't be any better for happily married couple Jung In (Choi Jin Sil) and Hwan Yoo (Park Shin Yang). But one day, Hwan Yoo discovers that he is dying of leukemia. Heartbroken at the prospect of leaving Jung In behind, he proceeds to write love letters aimed at making his wife's emotional transition more bearable. Soon, Hwan Yoo dies and Jung In is left hanging, wondering whether she can go on without her true love. Just then, a letter arrives from Hwan Yoo, followed by even more letters. Slowly but gradually, Jung In begins to realize why she must carry on living. (Source: yesasia.com)
Most contemporary Korean film fans probably had their first introduction to Korean Cinema through films such as Shiri, JSA, and My Sassy Girl. Over the years, these films have grown to be known as the "new classics" and the epitome of what Korean cinema can do. However, Korean films have had a far longer tradition than one might know. In 1997, the industry was in the middle of a continuing slump, with only 59 local films taking up a mere 25.5% of the market, despite the emergence of major directors and stars who would later contribute to a large part of the industry boom. Of course, this will go down in history as the calm before the storm, as Shiri would come along in 1999 and change the industry. Despite the slump, one small romantic melodrama swept the country and became the highest-grossing film that year. That film is The Letter.
The interesting part about watching The Letter over 10 years after its release is seeing how this played-out genre attracted local audiences before the formula became a major part of the Korean boom's success. The film actually possesses very little that sets itself apart from its contemporary counterparts, with all the old-fashioned elements intact. However, the effectiveness of the formula here doesn't come from how tragic the twists are or how much tears flow from the characters' eyes. (...) (Read more at: lovehkfilm.com)
- 'The Letter' was the highest-grossing film of 1997. Together with 'The Contact' it was only one of two films since 1993 to break the 600,000 admissions mark in Korea.
- 'The Letter' is recipient of numerous prestigious awards, including Best Popular Film at the 19th Blue Dragon Film Awards.
- 'The Letter' marked the discovery of a budding young actor named Park Shin Yang (Meet Mr. Daddy, Lovers In Paris). The movie also has Korea's 90's iconic actress Choi Jin Sil as one of the leads.
- 'The Letter' is considered one of the most romantic Korean films of all time.
- 'The Letter' is one of the first movies with the typical korean melodrama formula. After 'The letter' turned out to be a sucess, many koreans dramas and movies started to follow the same formula.
- 'The Letter' might seem similar to american movie 'PS I Love You', but 'The Letter' was released way before the book & movie 'PS I love You' was released.