Detective K: Secret of the Virtuous Widow

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Detective K: Secret Of Virtuous Widow
Detective K poster.jpg
Hangul :
Hanja : 각시투구꽃의
Revised Romanization Joseon Myeongtamjeong: Gakshituku Ggotui Bimil
McCune–Reischauer Chosŏn Myŏngt‘amjŏng: Kaksit‘ugukkotŭi pimil
Directed by Kim Sok-yun
Produced by Kim Jho Kwang-soo
Lee Seon-mi
Written by Lee Chun-hyeong
Lee Nam-gyu
Based on The Secret of the Virtuous Widow
by Kim Tak-hwan
Starring Kim Myung-min
Han Ji-min
Oh Dal-su
Music by Kim Han-jo
Eom Gi-yeop
Cinematography Jang Nam-cheol
Edited by Kim Sun-min
Generation Blue Films
Distributed by Showbox/Mediaplex
Release date
  • 27 January 2011 (2011-01-27)
Running time
115 minutes
Country South Korea
Language Korean
Box office US$32,325,907[1]

Detective K: Secret of the Virtuous Widow (Hangul조선명탐정: 각시투구꽃의 비밀; RRJoseon Myeongtamjeong: Gakshituku Ggotui Bimil) is a 2011 South Korean film based on the novel by Kim Tak-hwan, starring Kim Myung-min in the lead role.[2] It was the 4th best selling Korean film of 2011.[3]


In 1793, 17 years after Jeongjo became the King of Joseon, a series of murders occurs. King Jeongjo believes the murders may belong to a conspiracy by government officials to cover up tributary payments. King Jeongjo then gives Detective K (Kim Myung-min) a secret order to find out who is behind the killings.

When Detective K goes to question the jailed city governor, he discovers that the governor has just been murdered. Detective K then pulls out the murder weapon: a long metal needle that is jammed into the back of the governor's head. Furthermore, Detective K discovers a clue to the murderer's identity. Remnants of the regional Wolfsbane flower are found near the long metal needle. But, while Detective K is holding the murder weapon, prison guards come into the cell and assume that Detective K murdered the city governor. Now imprisoned, Detective K awakes to find dog fancier Seo-pil (Oh Dal-su) standing over him. Seo-pil helps Detective K escape from prison.

Because of this incident, King Jeongjo demotes Detective K and reassigns him to Jeokseong to investigate the case of a woman thought to have killed herself after the death of her husband. But, this reassignment is more of a rouse for Detective K to get to Jeokseong – the area where the Wolfsbane flower blooms.

As Detective K and Seo-pil investigate in Jeokseong, they come across lady Han Kaek-ju (Han Ji-min), who works as a commission agent and controls large groups of merchants. Detective K and Seo-Pil suspect that Han Kaek-ju and the head of the Noron political party Minister Im (Lee Jae-yong) are embezzling taxes to pay off politicians. Meanwhile, Detective K also investigates the case of the woman who reportedly committed suicide after the death of her husband and comes to the conclusion that these two cases are somehow related.



The film was released in South Korea on January 27, 2011. It received a theatrical run in 10 cities in the U.S. and Canada in March 2011, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Atlanta, Seattle, Chicago, Dallas, Hawaii and Vancouver.[4] It was also sold to Australia, China, Taiwan, Thailand, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, and screened at the Hawaii International Film Festival.[5]


The sequel was released in February 2015. Kim Myung-min and Oh Dal-su reprised their roles, and are joined by Lee Yeon-hee as a femme fatale.[6][7]


  1. ^ "Chosun Myungtamjeong (Chosun's Detective) (2011)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2012-06-04.
  2. ^ Lee, Hyo-won (20 January 2011). "Actors enliven uncanny period adventure". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2014-06-11. 
  3. ^ "The Best Selling Films of 2011". Retrieved 2012-06-04.
  4. ^ Lee, Hyo-won (4 March 2011). "Detective K to open in N. American theaters". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2014-06-11. 
  5. ^ "Is Hollywood Ready for Korean Comedies?". The Chosun Ilbo. 4 March 2011. Retrieved 2012-07-27. 
  6. ^ Kim, Hee-eun (10 June 2014). "Detective K team returns to set". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2014-06-11. 
  7. ^ Tae, Sang-joon (16 June 2014). "DETECTIVE K: LABORER'S DAUGHTER to Crankin in June". Korean Film Biz Zone. Retrieved 2014-06-16. 

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