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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 73,855 users   Metascore: 69/100
Reviews: 215 user | 141 critic | 33 from

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 10 wins & 7 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) »


Forgiveness comes at a price 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
See  »

Did You Know?


The film was originally being developed by Yari's Stratus Film. When Stratus executive, Mark Gill, left for Warner Independent, he brought this project with him. See more »


In the scene where Kitty and Walter enter their house in the village where they go because of the Cholera epidemic, the first time they enter there is a floor lamp in the living room with a green glass shade. After that first scene, the lamp disappears and is never seen again. See more »


Kitty Fane: Men are incalculable. I thought you were just like everybody else, and now I feel I don't know the first thing about you.
See more »


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


Le Furet Du Bois Joli
Composed by Pierre De Berville
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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