Synopsis by Josh Ralske
Writer/director E J-Yong transposes Choderlos de Laclo's novel Dangerous Liaisons to Korea during the repressive 18th century Chosun Dynasty for his costume drama, Untold Scandal. Lady Cho (Lee Mi-Suk, who also starred in Yong's debut, An Affair) decides to get revenge on her husband when he procures the services of a young, virginal concubine, Lee Soh-ok (Lee So-yeong). She asks her womanizing cousin, Jo-won (Korean television superstar Bae Yong-Jun, in his first starring role in a feature film), to seduce the girl and impregnate her. Cho-won doesn't see this as enough of a challenge. He has his sights set on an honorable young widow, Lady Sook (Jeon Do-Yeon), nicknamed "The Gate of Chastity." Lady Cho makes a wager with Jo-won, offering herself to him if he provides proof that he has succeeded in seducing the widow. While Jo-won struggles to ingratiate himself to Lady Sook, manipulating her handmaiden, and donating money to her Catholic church, Lady Cho works to get the innocent Soh-ok in trouble. But things take an unexpected turn when Lord Jo-won begins to develop genuine feelings for his prey. Untold Scandal was a huge box-office success in Korea, and it was shown at the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the Museum of Modern Art as part of the 2004 edition of New Directors/New Films.
concubine, revenge, seduction, wager, widow/widower, womanizer