Obaltan (오발탄) aka The Aimless Bullet and Stray Bullet is a 1960 Korean film directed by Yu Hyun-mok. The plot is based on the same titled short novel written by Yi Beomseon. It has often been called the best Korean movie ever made.
It begins with describing a man, who lives a hard life. He has his brother, his wife and his crazy mother. The film shows the poor lives of them in the point of realism
. The last part of the film has a story of a resulted impulsive crime as its climax.
The government banned Obaltan
because of its unremittingly downbeat depiction of life in post-armistice South Korea
. An American consultant to the Korean National Film Production Center saw the film and persuaded the government to release it in Seoul
so that it might qualify for entry in the San Francisco International Film Festival
. Director Yu Hyun-mok
attended the film's premier in San Francisco
in November 1963. Variety
a "remarkable film", and noted that its "[b]rilliantly detailed camera work is matched by probing sympathy and rich characterizations.
The most-cited quote from the film, mentioned in the contemporary Variety
review and in later texts on Korean cinema, is "Let's get outta here! Let's get outta here!
In December 2002 Obaltan
was released on Region 0 DVD
in South Korea
with English subtitles, but as of November 2007 is currently out of print. Gregory Hatanaka
's Cinema Epoch
released the film on Region 1 DVD on March 13