Autumn in My Heart (Hangul: 가을동화; Hanja: 秋日童話; RR: Gaeul Donghwa, also known as Autumn Fairy Tale or Autumn Tale) is a 2000 South Korean romantic television drama, starring Song Seung-heon, Song Hye-kyo and Won Bin.
It aired on Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) from September 18 to November 7, 2000 on Mondays and Tuesdays at 21:55 for 16 episodes. The series was very successful in South Korea averaging viewership ratings of 38.6% and reaching a peak viewership of 46.1%.
The series is the first installment of seasonal themed tetralogy Endless Love drama series directed by Yoon Seok-ho, This was followed by Winter Sonata in 2002, Summer Scent in 2003 and Spring Waltz in 2006.
The story begins with toddler, Yoon Joon-suh accidentally causing the switch of his sister and another baby when he drops the name cards on the two babies cribs in the hospital baby room. A nurse who comes in puts them back incorrectly. The story then jumps forward to the teenage years of the two main characters: Yoon Eun-suh (Moon Geun-young) and Yoon Joon-suh (Choi Woo-hyuk). They are the children of a professor and believe they are biologically brother and sister until Eun-seo gets hit by a truck and needs a blood transfusion. At the beginning, Eun-suh is popular in school whereas her rival Choi Shin-ae (Lee Ae-jung), is smart but does not get the attention she craves from the teacher and their classmates. Later, their situations are reversed when the switch is discovered.
After blood tests are carried out by the doctor on Mr and Mrs Yoon for Eun-suh’s transfusion, the Yoons find out that Eun-suh belongs to Mrs Choi, and Shin-ae is the Yoon’s biological daughter. At first, only the parents and brother know about this, but eventually, Shin-ae discovers the truth after she gets into a fierce argument with her non-biological mother over a teddy bear she received from her biological father. Eun-suh only discovers the truth after Shin-ae wants her biological parents to take her in. In the end, the two daughters return to their original birth parents. Shin-ae moves in with the Yoon family, and Eun-suh goes to live with Mrs Choi (her biological father is dead) who operates a small restaurant living in abject poverty.
The Yoon family moves to the United States and Eun-suh loses touch with them. Joon-suh (Song Seung-heon) returns to South Korea as a successful artist. He goes back to the town he lived in, where he encounters his old friend, Han Tae-seok (Won Bin), who stays at the hotel where Eun-suh (Song Hye-kyo) works as a telephone receptionist. Tae-seok (who doesn’t know about the brother and sister mix-up) falls in love with Eun-suh and manipulates her until she is fired from her job. One day Eun-suh sees Joon-suh and follows him to the beach where he is with Yumi (his fiancée) and Tae-seok, and the two “siblings” finally meet again after ten years.
Eun-suh and Joon-suh pretend to have a sibling relationship in front of the others, but they meet each other secretly and fall deeply in love, though she always refers to him as “older brother.” Shin-ae (Han Chae-young) finds out about their relationship and exposes the two after she finds a love letter Eun-suh wrote to Joon-suh. The two decide to stay together, but are soon forced apart again because their parents are against the union, and Yumi hurts herself and blackmails Joon-suh with suicide to hold on to him.
As a fight between Joon-suh and Tae-seok erupts over their love for Eun-suh, she discovers she has leukemia (the same fatal condition that killed her biological father). She doesn’t tell anyone except Tae-seok, who offers to pay for her treatment. When her health deteriorates, the others begin finding out the extent of her condition. Eun-suh soon falls into a coma. Joon-suh finds out about Eun-suh’s health and reacts with shock and fear. Tae-seok forces Joon-suh to try to wake up Eun-suh. Luckily, she does wake up, but is too weak to follow the treatment. When it is clear that there is no hope, Joon-suh takes her home so she can spend her last days with him. At this point, Yumi finally lets go of Joon-suh. Joon-suh proposes to Eun-suh and they get married. Eun-suh dies as Joon-suh carries her around the beach where they spent her birthday as teenagers.
Before Eun-suh dies, she tells Joon-suh to move on and continue living. However, Joon-suh, dazed and grief-stricken by the death of his love, is struck by a truck in the same place as Eun-suh’s accident and perishes.
- Han Chae-young as Choi/Yoon Shin-ae
- Han Na-na as Shin Yoo-mi
- Jung Dong-hwan as Yoon Kyo-soo (Joon-seo’s father)
- Sun Woo Eun-sook as Lee Kyung-ha (Joon-seo’s mother)
- Kim Hae-sook as Kim Soon-im (Eun-seo’s mother)
- Kim Na-woon as Housekeeping Supervisor Kim
- Kim Hyung-jong as Ji-han
- Seo Yoon-jae as Kang-hee
- Choi Woo-hyuk as young Joon-suh
- Moon Geun-young as young Eun-suh
- Lee Ae-jung as young Shin-ae
The 13-track soundtrack for Autumn in My Heart includes Jung Il-Young’s heartfelt ballads “Reason”, “Prayer” and “In My Dream” as well as the main flute theme and the guitar and piano versions of some of the songs. “Romance”, also known as “Forbidden Love” is the classic piece used for this soundtrack. It comes from a famous work of unknown authorship “Spanish Romance“.
- Main Title (Flute ver.)
- Reason – Jung Il-Young
- Romance – Choi Tae-Won
- Gido (Prayer) – Jung Il-Young
- Remember – Park Jung-Won
- Eolmana Naega (Sincerely) – Yoon Chang-Gun
- Reason (Instrumental ver.)
- Romance (Piano ver.) – Lee Hong-Rae
- Nunmul (Tears) – Lee Hong-Rae
- Eolmana Naega (Sincerely)(Guitar ver.) – Guitar by Ham Choon-Ho
- Kkum Sogeseo (In My Dream) – Jung Il-Young
- Eolmana Naega (Sincerely)(Piano ver.) – Piano by Yoo Jung-young
- Gido (Prayer)(Piano ver.)
- Reason (Vocal & Instrumental) – Jung Il-Young & Flute ver. (Final episode)
A song played during emotional scenes, but excluded from the soundtrack, was “Return to Love” by Kevin Kern.