41 user 3 critic

Bangkok Hilton 

The story of Kat Stanton, an Australian woman searching for her father who, whilst travelling back from London to Australia via Thailand, makes friends with Arkie Ragan), a photographer. ... See full summary »




1   Unknown  
1989   Unknown  
3 wins. See more awards »




Series cast summary:
Nicole Kidman ...  Katrina Stanton 6 episodes, 1989
Denholm Elliott ...  Hal Stanton 6 episodes, 1989
Hugo Weaving ...  Richard Carlisle 6 episodes, 1989
Joy Smithers ...  Mandy Engels 6 episodes, 1989
Lewis Fiander ...  James Stanton 6 episodes, 1989
Judy Morris ...  Catherine Faulkner 6 episodes, 1989
Jerome Ehlers ...  Arkie Ragan 6 episodes, 1989
Noah Taylor ...  Billy Engels 6 episodes, 1989
Gerda Nicolson Gerda Nicolson ...  Lady Faulkner 6 episodes, 1989
Pauline Chan ...  Kang / ... 6 episodes, 1989
Richard Carter ...  Detective King 6 episodes, 1989
Tan Chandraviroj Tan Chandraviroj ...  Major Sara 6 episodes, 1989
John Alansu John Alansu ...  Thai Police Sergeant 4 episodes, 1989
Deborah Kara Unger ...  Astra 3 episodes, 1989


The story of Kat Stanton, an Australian woman searching for her father who, whilst travelling back from London to Australia via Thailand, makes friends with Arkie Ragan), a photographer. Kat is tricked into carrying some luggage through Thai customs for Arkie, only for the police to find drugs in his bag. Kat is sentenced to spend time in the horrific "Bangkok Hilton" prison, where she makes friends with fellow inmate Mandy Engels, who has been sentenced to death. Whilst she endures the terrible conditions inside, Kat's lawyer Richard Carlisle and ex-patriot Hal Stanton battle with the authorities to have her freed. Written by Jonathan Broxton <j.w.broxton@sheffield.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Nicole Kidman stars as Katrina, a young Australian woman whose very life is threatened by the deception of a man she loves See more »


Drama | Thriller


See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?

Alternate Versions

2005 Australian DVD release has been cropped from 1.33:1 down to 1.78:1. The opening and closing credits of each episode have also been redone, saving only the music. In doing this, the final shot of the film, which originally appeared under the closing credits, has been deleted. See more »


Spoofed in Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004) See more »


Written by Janis Joplin, Michael McClure and Bob Neuwirth
Sung by Mandy and later by her cell-mates
See more »

User Reviews

4 March 2008 | by CineCritic2517See all my reviews

When I first saw the series, I was 15 years old. Ever since I saw it, the first thing that came to mind whenever I heard the name Nicole Kidman was this series. And it was also something that tended to come up at the dinnertable when we were going back discussing television-shows.

Now, some 17 years later I accidentally stumbled upon the DVD and I was rather reserved about the thought of seeing it again because what else but disappointment was there to gain from seeing something which held a good memory but was surely going to be completely outdated.

Imagine my surprise that although it was rather dated, it had actually aged so well. Another surprise was finding no one less than Hugo Weaving playing a major role in it. An actor I had grown to love ever since I saw him in 'The Interview' and the later classics such as LOTR and the Matrix.

Bangkok Hilton has survived the test of time basically because of the really great acting performances, script, story and ambiance. And apparently this was all that it needed to remain the classic that it has become. And by no means the cinematography, which wouldn't stand a chance against even the average soap opera we see today.

When you compare the story and the screenplay to modern similar tales such as the prison-series OZ, you will find that it is really hopeless out of date. The hell-hole of a jail in which Kidman is kept, is like a Disneyride compared to what the men in Emerald City had to endure in OZ. You will find no 'spooning' practices in Bangkok Hilton if you know what I mean.

Perhaps this is what makes this mini series so great, that it's the story that keeps you on the edge of your seat rather than a form of (graphic) violence which seems to be todays primary ingredient for a success film-wise. Just see Labirinto Del Fauno if you want to check my point. That was a so called 'message movie' with really no message at all but in stead featured a been there done that war-drama and cardboard characters. Nonetheless, that movie was hailed by the public and professional movie critics when all it had to offer was a vapid contrast between fable and really graphic violence replacing what used to be a tale between good and evil and its 'grey zone'.

Bangkok Hilton confirmed what I suspected all along, namely that cinema (although achieving greater technical marvels day by day) is becoming increasingly more banal and formula driven, even in the successful, so called 'art house films'.

I'm sorry for letting this review turn out to be such a rant. Thanks for reading and see Bankok Hilton whenever you get a chance.


20 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 41 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.





English | Thai

Release Date:

9 October 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bangkok Hilton See more »

Filming Locations:

New South Wales, Australia See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed