The Good, the Bad, the Weird

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The Good, the Bad, the Weird
The Good, the Bad, the Weird film poster.jpg
Theatrical poster
Hangul , ,
Hanja 좋은 놈, 나쁜 놈, 한 놈
Revised Romanization Jo-eun nom, nappeun nom, isanghan nom
McCune–Reischauer Choŭn nom, nappŭn nom, isanghan nom
Directed by Kim Jee-woon
Produced by Kim Jee-woon
Choi Jae-won
Written by Kim Jee-woon
Kim Min-suk
Starring Song Kang-ho
Lee Byung-hun
Jung Woo-sung
Music by Dalparan
Jang Yeong-gyu
Cinematography Lee Mo-gae
Editing by Nam Na-yeong
Studio Barunson Co. Ltd.
Grimm Pictures[1]
Distributed by CJ Entertainment
(South Korea)
IFC Films
Release dates
Running time 139 minutes
Country South Korea
Language Korean
Budget US$10 million[2]
Box office US$44,261,209

The Good, the Bad, the Weird (Hangul: 좋은 놈, 나쁜 놈, 이상한 놈; RR: Jo-eun nom nappeun nom isanghan nom) is a 2008 South Korean Western film, directed by Kim Jee-woon, starring Song Kang-ho, Lee Byung-hun, and Jung Woo-sung. It was inspired by Sergio Leone's The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.[3]

The film premiered at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival and was released on a limited basis in the U.S. on April 23, 2010.


In the desert wilderness of 1930s Manchuria, The Bad (Lee Byung-hun) - a bandit and hitman - is hired to acquire a treasure map from a Japanese official traveling by train. Before he can get it however, The Weird (Song Kang-ho) - a thief (Honghuzi) - steals the map and is caught up in The Bad's derailment of the train. This involves the slaughter of the Japanese and Manchurian guards, and various civilians. The Good (Jung Woo-sung) - an eagle-eyed bounty hunter - appears on the scene to claim the bounty on The Bad. Meanwhile The Weird escapes, eluding his Good and Bad pursuers. A fourth force - a group of Manchurian bandits - also want the map to sell to the Ghost Market. The Weird hopes to uncover the map's secrets and recover what he believes is gold and riches buried by the Qing Dynasty just before the collapse of their government. As the story continues, an escalating battle for the map occurs, with bounties placed on heads and the Imperial Japanese Army racing to reclaim its map as it can apparently "save the Japanese Empire".

After a series of graphic shoot-outs and chases, a final battle erupts in which the Japanese army, Manchurian bandits, The Good, The Bad and his gang are chasing The Weird all at once. The Japanese army kills most of the bandits. The Good kills many Japanese soldiers and sets off an explosion that drives them away. The Bad's gang is slowly killed off and he kills those that attempt to leave the chase. Only the Bad, the Weird and the Good make it to the "treasure". However, they find that it is nothing more than a boarded-over hole in the desert. The Bad recognizes The Weird as the "Finger Chopper" - a criminal that cut off his finger in a knife fight five years ago - and the man that the Good had thought the Bad to be. Turning on each other in a final act of vengeance for the slights they suffered, they finally gun each other down after a prolonged Mexican standoff. The three lay in the sand, dying and alone, as the "useless hole" they had fought and died for suddenly and belatedly erupts with a geyser of crude oil. The Good does survive along with the Weird. With a newly raised bounty on the Weird, a new chase begins as he flees across the Manchurian desert.


Alternate versions[edit]

Two versions of the film were released in cinemas: one being for the native Korean market and the other for international sales. The Korean theatrical cut is 136 minutes long and the international cut is 129 minutes long.[4] The Korean ending is more "up-beat" than the international version, including several more minutes of footage, in which it is revealed that both The Weird and The Good survived the standoff and escaped. The Weird sets off to continue hunting for the treasure with his bounty multiplied sevenfold, while The Good vindictively pursues him. The ending of the international version reflects the end that director Kim Jee-woon originally wanted.[5]

In the United Kingdom, the British Board of Film Classification ordered five seconds of cuts to the cinema release due to scenes of animal cruelty that violated the Cinematograph Films (Animals) Act 1937.[6]


The film was screened out of competition at the Cannes Film Festival on May 24, 2008.[7] It also received screenings at the Toronto International Film Festival, Hawaii International Film Festival, Sitges Film Festival, Chicago International Film Festival, and the London Film Festival.[8]

American distribution rights were acquired by IFC Films, who released it in theaters on a limited basis on April 23, 2010.[9]

The Good, the Bad, the Weird received generally positive reviews. Review aggregating website Rotten Tomatoes reported that 84% of 60 sampled critics gave the film positive reviews and that it got a rating average of 7.2 out of 10.[10]

Box office[edit]

The Good, the Bad, the Weird earned $128,486 in North America and $44,132,723 in other territories, bringing the worldwide gross to $44,261,209.[11] It was the second highest grossing Korean film after Speedy Scandal and beating The Chaser.

Awards and nominations[edit]

2009 Asian Film Awards[12]

  • Best Supporting Actor - Jung Woo-sung
  • Nomination – Best Leading Actor - Song Kang-ho
  • Nomination – Best Supporting Actor - Lee Byung-hun
  • Nomination – Best Director - Kim Jee-woon
  • Nomination – Best Film
  • Nomination – Best Cinematography - Lee Mo-gae
  • Nomination – Best Composer - Dalparan and Jang Young-gyu
  • Nomination – Best Visual Effects - KIM Wook

2008 41st Sitges Film Festival[13]

  • Best Director - Kim Jee-woon
  • Best Special Effects - Do-Ahn Jung
  • Nomination - Best Film

2008 29th Blue Dragon Film Awards

  • Best Director - Kim Jee-woon
  • Most Popular Film
  • Best Cinematography - Lee Mo-gae
  • Best Art Direction - Jo Hwa-seong
  • Nomination – Best Leading Actor - Lee Byung-hun
  • Nomination – Best Leading Actor - Song Kang-ho
  • Nomination – Best Film
  • Nomination – Best Music - Dalparan and Jang Young-Gyu
  • Nomination – Best Lighting - Oh Seung-Chul
  • Nomination – Technical Award - DTI

2008 Hawaii International Film Festival[14]

2008 Asia Pacific Screen Awards[15]

Home media[edit]

The film was released on DVD on March 11, 2009. The Korean release contains a longer version of the film and the international release has a slightly shorter cut with English subtitles.[16]


External links[edit]