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The Painted Veil (1934)

Passed | | Drama, Romance | 23 November 1934 (USA)
A wife neglected by her husband, a medical researcher in China, falls in love with a dashing diplomatic attaché.

Writers:

John Meehan (screen play), Salka Viertel (screen play) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Greta Garbo ... Katrin
Herbert Marshall ... Walter Fane
George Brent ... Jack Townsend
Warner Oland ... General Yu
Jean Hersholt ... Herr Koerber
Bodil Rosing ... Frau Koerber
Katharine Alexander ... Mrs. Townsend
Cecilia Parker ... Olga
Soo Yong Soo Yong ... Amah
Forrester Harvey ... Waddington
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Robert Adair Robert Adair ... Polo Player (scenes deleted)
Mariska Aldrich Mariska Aldrich ... German Teacher (scenes deleted)
Maidena Armstrong Maidena Armstrong ... German (scenes deleted)
Billy Bevan ... Bridegroom (scenes deleted)
Beulah Bondi ... Frau Koerber (scenes deleted)
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Storyline

In Austria, Katrin is lonely after her sister's marriage and she agrees to marry her father's research associate Dr. Walter Fane. Fane takes her to China but constantly ignors her in favour of his medical research. Lonely Katrin has an affair with Jack Townsend of the British Embassy. When it is discovered by Walter he becomes very bitter. Fane travels to fight a cholera epidemic and Katrin goes with him and helps. They grow closer together than ever before but Walter is knifed in a riot incited by the burning of a cholera infested town. Now their new found happiness will depend on Walter's survival. Written by Gary Jackson <garyjack5@cogeco.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Do not pass love by...It may never come again! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 November 1934 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El velo pintado See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$947,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$1,172,840

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,441,600
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A church facade was added to the standing set known as the French District at MGM. The church became a permanent part of the set and stood until the lot was cleared in the 1970Kirk Kerkorian took control. See more »

Goofs

A box is marked "Scotch Whiskey". The proper spelling is "Whisky". See more »

Quotes

Katrin Koerber Fane: He'll make Olga a good husband. And a good husband is what every girl...
Frau Koerber: Well, what more do you want than a good husband? I like to know?
Katrin Koerber Fane: Must he be good, mother? It's not very exciting to be good.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Divine Garbo (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

Bridal Chorus (Here Comes the Bride)
(1850) (uncredited)
from "Lohengrin"
Written by Richard Wagner
Played as background music in the wedding scene
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Garbo is luminous. Story is interesting. Execution is stale.
29 July 2006 | by Maciste_BrotherSee all my reviews

When I watched THE PAINTED VEIL, I thought that a remake should be made. Because the story has so much potential which couldn't have been explored sans restrictions in a movie made in the 1930s. Oddly enough, when I watched this film (early spring of 2006), it was announced that a remake of THE PAINTED VEIL was in the works and it's starring Naomi Watts in the role of Katrin. Well, after hearing this bit of news, I guess a good remake has yet to be made because casting Watts in the role played by Garbo is, well, ludicrous.

The best thing about the Garbo version of THE PAINTED VEIL is Garbo herself. She outshines the whole movie. Remove her from the film and, frankly, there's no reason to watch it. Garbo plays a very difficult role and pulls it off successfully. She beautifully underplays her role, which could have easily been fodder for scenery chewing if played by other actresses of that era. Watts has big shoes to fill.

The worst part of this version are two male co-stars, who aside from being almost indistinguishable from each other, are dull. It's hard to believe any woman would be interested in either of them, character or look-wise. And the production values, though good, aren't the most effective. Even though the budget was supposedly high for that time, there's a cheap, rushed feel to it (it was shot in two months!). No location film-making in China here. Another problem is the script which is obviously a truncated version of the W. Somerset Maugham novel. Something tells me big parts of the book were left out and the story in the film looks half complete. But the basis of this odd romance is still there and I find it fascinating. It's sorta like an anti-romance romantic story, or a reversed romantic story, which I've rarely seen before and having Garbo in this was perfect casting, because of she was such an unconventional star.

I rate the movie a 5 but because of Garbo, I give it a 7.

(P.S.: I finally read the book and did not like it at all. The Garbo film is an actual improvement)


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