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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 74,612 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?


German Film Award-winning director Caroline Link was attached to the project, also working on her own version of the screenplay. 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: Walter, stop. I'm pregnant.
Walter Fane: A baby?
[while Walter begins to look elated, Kitty looks terrified]
Walter Fane: You're quite certain?
Kitty Fane: Yes.
Walter Fane: Well, that's wonderful.
[he sees the scared look on Kitty's face and the he remembers; Kitty's affair with Charlie Townsend]
Walter Fane: How long do you think you've been like this?
Kitty Fane: Two months. Maybe longer.
Walter Fane: [his expression becomes solemn] Kitty. Am I the father?
See more »


Version of The Painted Veil (1934) 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

Simply Beautiful
20 December 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Such a level of intimacy between character and viewer is so seldom achieved, that I could not help but be overwhelmed by it. I was moved and shattered by how well I knew these characters, how much I commiserated and empathized for them, and how deeply involved I was in their anger, fears, and love.

The camera often loomed within a dark room, filled only with soft light and the characters clothed in light-colored costume. This ciaroscuro, contrast between light and shadow, created elegance and simplicity that is nothing short of beautiful. Most incredible of all were the zoom shots onto a particular character's face or eyes, emphasizing the sweat on his/her brow or a particularly telling expression on his/her face.

The musical score was very powerful and in-tune with the story told and the amazing characterizations.

I simply LOVED this film. If you are interested in a slow-moving, deep and emotionally stirring film, The Painted Veil is just that film!

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