The final feature in the Center for Korean Studies spring series of Golden Age comedies will be shown Tuesday, April 24, 2012, at 6:30 p.m. in the Center’s Auditorium. The film is A Petty Middle Manager 삼등과장 (1961), directed by Lee Bong-Rae.
Based on an original screenplay, A Petty Middle Manager was released in theaters on May 4, 1961, less than a month after the April 19 overthrow of President Syngman Rhee and weeks before the May 19 coup d’état led by General Park Chung-hee. Influenced by the political events of the time, the film takes a critical stance toward Korean society and marks a point of departure from the more optimistic and positive films shown earlier in this series. Still, it retains a humorous tone and treats many of the same concerns with modernization and marriage.
The story line tracks a branch manager at a transportation company, again played by Kim Sŏng-ho, who heads a large family consisting of his parents, wife, son, and daughter. He wins a promotion by converting part of the branch office into a dance school for a company director’s mistress. A flurry of rumors and accusations leads the director’s wife to discover and confront the mistress, who ends the affair and returns to her hometown.
These film screenings are free and open to all. Films shown are in Korean with English subtitles. The series is supported by the Timothy and Miriam Wee Memorial Fund at the Center for Korean Studies. For information regarding access for the handicapped or parking please telephone (808) 956‑7041.