10 21 oct '23
The Housemaid 1960 header

Kim Ki-young

The Housemaid (1960) (하녀)

Classics Focus on Korean Cinema 110' - 1960 - Crime, Drama, Thriller - Dialogue: Korean
Director: Kim Ki-young Composer: Han Sang-gi With: Lee Eun-shim, Kim Jin-kyu, Ju Jeung-nyeo
This classis of South Korean cinema of the sixties is an erotically charged thriller about a manipulative maid who drags a neat bourgeois family into the deepest depths. A marriage of the cinema of Hitchcock and Buñuel.
The only film in this Classics section that dates back to last century made such an impression on younger generations that it can be regarded as the matrix of a mini-genre about diabolical personnel infiltrating the bourgeois elite, of which Bong Joon-ho's Palme d'Or winner Parasite might be the crowning achievement. Protagonist is a music teacher who sees his entire existence (house, wife and child) destroyed by the manipulations of a seductive maid, which leads to claustrophobic terror captured in quasi expressionistic black-and-white photography. This masterpiece by Kim Ki-young can also be interpreted as a manifesto in defence of patriarchy and against the perverse influence of western culture. But above all, it's a wicked erotic thriller that would make Hitchcock and Buñuel proud.
"A bleak, Nietzschean view of human motivation, and the whole, with its jazz-score, location shooting, hot-house Sirkian drama and Clouseau-like horror suspense makes for a notably delirious experience." - Time Out Film Guide

Image gallery

57154ad4 110a 40ac 905e 81b919b81a11
9bc06948 7a44 4aeb 875b 129474ac3bc4
803d30db 7681 4188 bd0d 22d9c14fb9a5
Fe42aa67 56e1 4cd6 a74e 4efd6d439784
C0b122f7 35e0 4eda 9395 0697850482ee
F5277bd3 81ce 4be8 a1bd 94713c2277ea
9c4183ef f8cb 4d47 8dc0 177ce632b622
2071ea02 7988 41aa bd41 cf0816e66d3c
1c054a6e 23ba 4dc0 b633 1ad9a0a19f9d
50df30c9 fe49 43ed 9608 e598a57aa592
C8603aab 92b5 4402 a665 ee2f8472e0db



Kim Ki-young


Han Sang-gi


Lee Eun-shim, Kim Jin-kyu, Ju Jeung-nyeo


Kim Ki-young

Director of Photography

Kim Deok-jin


Oh Young-Keun


Kim Young-cheol

Production studios

Hanguk Munye Yeonghwa, Korean Munye Films Co., Ltd.

More information



Countries of production

South Korea




Kim Ki-young
The Boxes of Death (1955), Yangsan Province (1955), A Touch-Me-Not (1956), A Woman's War (1957), The Twilight Train (1957), The First Snow (1958), A Defiance of Teenager (1959), A Sad Pastorale (1960), The Housemaid (1960), The Sea Knows (1961), Goryeojang (1963), The Asphalt Pavement (1964), A Soldier Speaks After Death (1966), Woman (1968), Lady Hong the Beauty (1969), Len's Sonata (1969), Woman of Fire (1971), Insect Woman (1972), Transgression (1974), Promise of the Flesh (1975), Love of Blood Relations (1976), Io Island (1977), Soil (1978), Woman Chasing the Butterfly of Death (1978), Woman of Water (1979), Neu-mi (1980), Ban Geum-ryun (1982), Woman of Fire '82 (1982), Free Maiden (1982), Hunting for Idiots (1984), Carnivorous Animal (1985), Be a Wicked Woman (1995)

Your browser does not meet the minimum requirements to view this website. The browsers below are compatible. If you do not have any of these browsers, click on the icon to download the desired browser.