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The Painted Veil (2006)

PG-13  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  19 January 2007 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 74,548 users   Metascore: 69/100
Reviews: 215 user | 141 critic | 33 from Metacritic.com

A British medical doctor fights a cholera epidemic in a small Chinese village, while being trapped at home in a loveless marriage to an unfaithful wife.



(screenplay), (novel)
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Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 8 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Catherine An ...
Bin Li ...
Bin Wu ...
Student 1
Alan David ...
Marie-Laure Descoureaux ...
Mary (scenes deleted)
Lorraine Laurence ...
Gwing-Gai Lee ...
Angry Chinese Man (as Johnny Lee)
Li Feng ...
Gesang Meiduo ...
Yin Qing ...
Student 2
Ian Renwick ...
Geoffrey Denison (as Ian Rennick)


This love story has Kitty meeting young, intelligent, shy and somewhat dull Dr. Walter Fane, whose forte is the study of infectious diseases, and the convenient marriage that she finds herself committed to. It is in this web of intrigue that they head for China, only after Walter discovers Kitty's infidelity with one dashing and witty diplomat Charlie Townsend. So much as to hide her from herself and to help thwart a cholera outbreak, this is a marriage more than on the rocks. This is a cold, indifferent and loveless partnership in a vast unknown and deadly environment that will test both these flightless lovebirds and with the hardships and tolerances more than any had ever anticipated. A visual delight amid the pain and suffering of a dying people and failing marriage. Will a cure be found for both, before it's too late? Written by Cinema_Fan

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

nudity | marriage | love | china | cholera | See All (223) »


Sometimes the greatest journey is the distance between two people See more »


Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some mature sexual situations, partial nudity, disturbing images and brief drug content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:


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Release Date:

19 January 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Al otro lado del mundo  »

Box Office


$19,400,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$71,814 (USA) (22 December 2006)


£1,381,143 (UK) (25 May 2007)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Nicole Kidman was considered for the leading role. See more »


During the love scene between Kitty And Walter, Kitty takes Walter's shirt off while they are kissing. In the next shot, Walter has his shirt back on and in the shot after that, when they are falling onto the bed, he has the shirt off again. See more »


Kitty Fane: It's raining cats and dogs.
Kitty Fane: I said it's raining cats and dogs.
Walter Fane: Yes, I heard you.
Kitty Fane: You might have answered.
Walter Fane: I suppose I'm not used to speaking unless I've something to say.
Kitty Fane: If people only spoke when they had something to say, the human race would soon lose the power of speech.
See more »


Referenced in At the Movies: Venice Film Festival 2013 (2013) See more »


Reste Avec Moi
(French translation of "Abide with Me")
Words by Henry F. Lyte (as Henry Lyte) (in the English version, but translated here to French)
Music by William H. Monk (as William Monk)
Arranged by Evan H. Chen (as Evan Chen)
Performed by The Choir of the Beijing Takahashi Culture and Art Centre
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Remake of Garbo Classic
6 December 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Naomi Watts is every bit as good as Garbo was in the 1934 version, and Ed Norton is outstanding. Great supporting cast as well - Diana Rigg is almost unrecognizable as a Mother Superior, and Liev Schreiber is, as always, terrific as a slimy lowlife. Based on one of Somerset Maugham's best stories, this is a movie that will satisfy anyone looking for an old-fashioned, romantic drama about love lost and love earned. The social quandary of British women after the first World War, which created a generation of unwilling spinsters, is taken as seriously by the filmmakers as the emergence of a new China standing up to its Colonial oppressors. Watts' character's journey from spoiled, selfish Daddy's girl in 1920's fun-loving London to a mature woman in a deprived, cholera-infested third-world country is harrowing.

171 of 204 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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