Korean Gangster Film 'A Dirty Carnival' Getting an English Remake

October 22, 2009

A Dirty Carnival

I love Korean gangster films. While there are filmmakers like Park Chan-wook and Bong Joon-ho, the one film that really opened my eyes was The Chaser, which I saw back in 2008, and is why I'm writing about this one. I don't know anything about A Dirty Carnival, but I dig that title and the plot and will be seeking it out as soon as I can. Variety reports that the 2006 film, written and directed by Yoo Ha, is being remade by Sparkler Entertainment (National Treasure) and CJ Entertainment, the big Korean company behind most of Bong Joon-ho and Park Chan-wook's films. Chris Hauty (Never Back Down) will be writing the script.

Here's the basic plot synopsis for A Dirty Carnival: Byung-du is a 29-year-old career criminal, working for the middle-rank enforcer Sang-chul. Burdened with a terminally ill mother and taking care of younger siblings, Byung-du is feeling financial pressure as a substitute patriarch. When the big boss President Hwang is cornered by a corrupt prosecutor, Byung-du volunteers for a whack job and wins the big man's trust. However, his real trouble begins when friend Min-ho, an aspiring movie director, asks him to be a consultant for the latter's debut film. You can find more photos and info on this film at

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  • Cineprog
    I like Korean, Chinese, Japanese film's they are well put together some good storyline's and Kung fu galore
  • Chris H
    Got the film in my asian film collection. It's a good flick but it's a plot already played out in a few episodes of the Sopranos when Christopher helps make a film that has characters and situations that mirror the Soprano mob activity. Still, I can't pass up a mob movie.
  • Edward
    It was good but Bittersweet Life was better.
  • Tony
    I agree with Edward, Bittersweet Life was better. Loved The Chaser, but I might have to take Infernal Affairs 1 or 2 over them all.
  • Sadly, the plot in A Dirty Carnival is not particularly novel, at least not worthy of a remake. Better yet would have been Yu Ha's first feature, Once Upon a Time in High School. A lot more refreshing, especially if the tone and mood are left intact.
  • Correction: Not his first feature. Also worth checking out is Yu's Marriage is a Crazy Thing, a rather interesting look at love/adultery and one of the most underrated Korean films of the decade.




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