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The Painted Veil (2006)

PG-13 | | Drama, Romance | 19 January 2007 (USA)
0:30 | Trailer

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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)
3,106 ( 197)
Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 8 wins & 11 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


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)


$8,047,690 (USA) (20 April 2007)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Warner Independents and Yari Groups brought in a Chinese production company to help finance the film. The Chinese partner was granted approvals over the script and the finished film. It was concerned about the film's depiction of the uprising during the Chinese Revolution as well as the cholera's victims and asks for these contents to be reduced, something Edward Norton and John Curran disagreed upon. In the end, about 38 seconds of footage were removed. See more »


In the scene where Walter is telling Kitty he wants to divorce her, Kitty's necklace (with Charlie Townsend's ring) disappears and reappears between shots. See more »


Walter Fane: It was silly of us to look for qualities in each other that we never had.
See more »


Referenced in Marginais (2010) See more »


A La Claire Fontaine
Traditional French song
Vocals by N. Porebski / L. Descamps
Piano by Roger Pouly
Courtesy of Les Petits Minous
Produced and published by AKCS
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A complex, moody film that draws you in on many levels and does not let go
26 December 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Set in China in the 1920s during a cholera epidemic and the nationalist uprising, the film explores the stormy relationship of a dry British doctor and his seemingly incompatible fun-loving wife. They interact with engaging characters that include French nuns, British expatriates and a Chinese doctor and military officer. The tension is increased by the ever-present threat of death from the epidemic and the political and military unrest that is about to explode. The film is shot with a hazy green look that makes the lush Chinese countryside even more mysterious and beautiful. The film is accompanied by well-chosen music with a particularly gripping main theme by Satie. Norton and Watts do a splendid job in the leading roles.

106 of 128 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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