Blades of Blood

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Blades of Blood
Theatrical poster
Revised Romanization Gureumeul Beoseonan Dalcheoreom
McCune–Reischauer Gurŭmŭl Pŏsŏnan Talch‘ŏrŏm
Directed by Lee Joon-ik
Produced by Jo Cheol-hyeon
Lee Jeong-se
Written by Jo Cheol-hyeon
Oh Seung-hyeon
Choi Seok-hwan
Based on Like the Moon Escaping from the Clouds
by Park Heung-yong
Starring Hwang Jung-min
Cha Seung-won
Baek Sung-hyun
Han Ji-hye
Music by Kim Soo-chul
Kim Jun-seok
Cinematography Chung Chung-hoon
Edited by Kim Sang-bum
Kim Jae-bum
Studio Acheem,
Tiger Pictures
Distributed by SK Telecom
Release date
  • April 28, 2010 (2010-04-28)
Running time
107 minutes
Country South Korea
Language Korean
Box office US$8,217,720

Blades of Blood (Hangul구름 을 벗어난 달처럼; RRGureumeul Beoseonan Dalcheoreom; lit. "Like the Moon Escaping from the Clouds") is a 2010 South Korean action drama film directed by Lee Joon-ik. The film is based on Park Heung-yong's graphic novel Like the Moon Escaping from the Clouds.[1]


In the late 16th century, the kingdom of Joseon is thrown into chaos by the threat of a Japanese invasion. Lee Mong-hak (Cha Seung-won), an illegitimate offspring from a cadet family of the ruling dynasty, and legendary blind swordsman Hwang Jeong-hak (Hwang Jung-min) were once allies who dreamed of stamping out the Japanese invasion, social inequality and corruption, and creating a better world. Persecuted by the court, Lee forms a rebel army in hopes of overthrowing the inept king and taking the throne himself. Lee is willing to kill recklessly and betray former comrades to forge his bloody path to the palace. Kyeon-ja is the bastard child of a family killed by Mong-hak. Hwang Jeong-hak saves him from an injury caused by Mong-hak. Together the two search for Mong-hak in order to confront and kill him.

After Mong-hak's Great Alliance rebel army defeat a large government military force, Hwang Jeong-hak confronts him alone. After a lengthy battle, Mong-hak's skill proves too much and the blind swordsman falls. Kyeon-ja, finding Jeong-hak dead, decides to head to Seoul, the capital of Joseon and final destination of Mong-hak. While, Mong-hak, despite finding out that Japanese forces are approaching and will slaughter and pillage every villagers and settlements they encounter, orders the Great Alliance army to press on towards to Seoul, abandoning the commoners who gathered to rebel camp seeking protection from invading forces. The rebels take Seoul, but are confused and frustrated as the king has already abandoned the capital and the palace lies forlorn. Kyeon-ja, who has arrived at the palace before the rebels came, confronts Mong-hak as he approaches the throne pavilion. A few moments later the Japanese army arrives and begins massacring the rebel army with their arquebuses. Kyeon-ja succeeds in killing Mong-hak then dies at the hands of the Japanese army.


  • Hwang Jung-min as Hwang Jeong-hak
  • Cha Seung-won as Lee Mong-hak
  • Baek Sung-hyun as Kyeon-ja
  • Han Ji-hye as Baek-ji
  • Lee Dol-hyung as nobleman Song
  • Kim Chang-wan as King Seonjo
  • Song Young-chang as Han Shin-gyun
  • Yeom Dong-hyun as nobleman Park
  • Jung Gyu-soo as tableware maker
  • Shin Jung-geun as nobleman Yoo
  • Ryu Seung-ryong as nobleman Jung
  • Lee Hae-young as Han Pil-joo
  • Yang Young-jo as Lee Jang-gak
  • Jung Min-sung as Hwang Yoon-gil
  • Lee Jae-gu as Magistrate Choi
  • Jung Jae-heon as executor
  • Kang Hyun-joong as Daedong mob subordinate
  • Han Seung-do as police chief
  • Ji Il-joo as scholar
  • Lee Sol-gu as prison guard
  • Jo Kyung-hoon as assassin
  • Choi Dae-sung as Im Chul-min's subordinate
  • Park Jin-woo as Kim Sung-il
  • Yeon Young-geol as public officer
  • Kim Byung-oh as low public officer 4
  • Shin Young-sik as nobleman
  • Kim Young-hoon as executor
  • Kim Sang-ho as Park Dol-seok
  • Kim Bo-yeon as gisaeng's mother
  • Min-young as gisaeng
  • Kim Sung-hoon as executioner


Actor Hwang Jung-min expressed his difficulty playing a blind character in the film. Hwang went to schools for blind people to observe their movements but stated that "it still wasn’t an easy role to play".[2]


Blades of Blood premiered on April 29, 2010 in South Korea.[3] It opened at number two in the box office, grossing US$2,675,391 on 603 screens.[4] In total the film received 1,389,295 admissions nationwide with a domestic gross of US$8,217,720.[5][6]

The film had its international premiere at New York Asian Film Festival on July 8, 2010 where it was the festival's closing film.[7][8] Lee Joon-ik won the Jury Award for Best Director at the Fantasia Festival in Montreal Canada.[9] Blades of Blood was one of six films considered as Korea's submission for the foreign-language Oscar award.[10]


Film Business Asia gave the film a rating of seven out of ten, praising action and characters calling it a "cut above most Korean swordplay dramas."[3] Variety gave the film a mixed review, stating that "political infighting on the eve of a Japanese invasion is told with unnecessarily broad, imagistic strokes that let character-generated conflicts slip between the blades" as well as that "the film easily outdoes numerous gimmicky f/x extravaganzas, explaining its early pickup by several European and Asian distribs."[11]


  1. ^ Frater, Patrick (March 22, 2010). "Splendid drinks up Lee's Blood". Film Business Asia. Retrieved November 15, 2010. 
  2. ^ Sung, So-young (April 29, 2010). "Film giants shift gears with new release". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved November 15, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b Elley, Derek (May 29, 2010). "Blades of Blood (구르믈 버서난 달처럼)". Film Business Asia. Retrieved November 15, 2010. 
  4. ^ "South Korea Box Office: April 30–May 2, 2010". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 11, 2013.
  5. ^ "Korean Box Office". Hancinema. Retrieved July 11, 2013.
  6. ^ "Blades of Blood (2010)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 11, 2013.
  7. ^ Cremin, Stephen (May 21, 2010). "NYAFF paints the town Red with Blood, pink cinema and uncut Cliff". Film Business Asia. Retrieved November 15, 2010. 
  8. ^ "Blades Of Blood (Korea, 2010)". Subway Cinema. Retrieved November 15, 2010. 
  9. ^ Frater, Patrick (July 30, 2010). "Asian films dominate Fantasia awards". Film Business Asia. Retrieved November 15, 2010. 
  10. ^ Frater, Patrick (September 3, 2010). "Korea selects Oscar Dream". Film Business Asia. Retrieved November 15, 2010. 
  11. ^ Scheib, Ronnie (July 20, 2010). "Blades of Blood". Variety. Retrieved November 15, 2010. 

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