‘12.12 THE DAY’ Enters Top 10 Korean Movies

Hwang Jung-min and Jung Woo-sung, the leading actors of “12.12 THE DAY,” have made headlines with the film ranking in the top 10 of the Korean box office. “12.12 THE DAY” has surpassed 10 million viewers in just 33 days of release, and as of January 25, it has recorded an audience of approximately 12.98 million. The movie depicts the tense nine hours in Seoul, the capital of South Korea, on December 12, 1979, to prevent a rebellion by the new military forces.

At the time of the film’s release, actors Hwang Jung-min and Jung Woo-sung promised in a radio program that they would appear as radio DJs if the film reached 10 million viewers. They are set to keep this promise by appearing not as guests but as DJs on a radio show.

‘12.12 THE DAY’

  • Genre: Historical, Drama, Noir, Political, Action
  • Release Date: November 22, 2023
  • Running Time: 141 minutes
  • Director: Kim Sung-soo
  • Actors: Hwang Jung-min, Jung Woo-sung, Lee Sung-min, Park Hae-jun, Kim Sung-kyun

what is the plot?

After the earth-shaking October 26 incident, a new wind briefly blew in Seoul until December 12, when Security Commander Jeon Du-kwang staged a rebellion, summoning all the secret organizations within the army, even the front-line troops, to Seoul. As nine tense hours pass between the rebellious forces of Jeon Du-kwang, blinded by power, and the suppression forces including Capital Defense Commander Lee Tae-shin opposing him, a night of tense confrontation between the two forces risking their lives changes the fate of South Korea.

Who is the cast?

The characters in “12.12 THE DAY” are all real people. As a movie based on a true story, some real characters’ names have been slightly modified as some of them are still alive to this day.

Jeon Du-kwang (Actor Hwang Jung-min)

Jeon Du-kwang seizes the military by staging a military coup on December 12 with No Tae-woo and others from the military secret organization, Hanahoe. He later suppresses the May 18 Democracy Movement with guns and serves as the 11th and 12th President of South Korea. He was sentenced to life imprisonment by the civil government in 1995 but was pardoned. Until his death in 2021, he never admitted his wrongdoing. The role of Jeon Du-kwang is played by actor Hwang Jung-min, who impressively portrayed Pastor Jeon Yo-hwan in “Narco-Saints“.

Lee Tae-shin (Actor Jung Woo-sung)

Lee Tae-shin is a soldier who struggles alone to stop Jeon Du-kwang on December 12 and resists to the end. He was chosen as a witness in the military rebellion trial, served as a member of the National Assembly, and died of a chronic illness in 2020. The role of Lee Tae-shin is played by actor Jung Woo-sung, who showed fantastic acting in “Hunt” and “The King“.

Jung Sang-ho (Actor Lee Sung-min)

Jung Sang-ho is the Army Chief of Staff who is implicated by Jeon Du-kwang as a pretext for the coup because he was present at the October 26 incident. He is arrested on December 12, stripped of his position as the Army Chief of Staff, and tortured along with Colonel Lee Tae-shin. He was later reinstated under the civil government and died in 2002. The role of Jung Sang-ho is played by actor Lee Sung-min, who appeared in the thriller drama “A Bloody Lucky Day” I recommended a few days ago.

No Tae-gun (Actor Park Hae-jun)

No Tae-gun is a character who staged a military rebellion on December 12 with Jeon Du-kwang and succeeded him as the 13th President. He participated in the coup by calling the soldiers of the 9th Division, who were supposed to guard the ceasefire line, to Seoul. Like Jeon Du-kwang, he was sentenced to life imprisonment during the civil government but was pardoned. Before he died, he apologized to the victims of May 18, showing at least some conscience. The role of No Tae-gun is played by actor Park Hae-jun.

Kim Jun-yeop (Actor Kim Sung-kyun)

Kim Jun-yeop, as the Army Headquarters Provost Marshal, tried to suppress the military rebellion on December 12 but was stopped by his subordinates from Hanahoe. After the military rebellion, he lived as a reserve lieutenant general and died of a chronic illness in 2006. The role of Kim Jun-yeop is played by actor Kim Sung-kyun, who played a Japanese warrior in “Hansan: Rising Dragon – REDUX“.

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