6.4/10
20,544
188 user 45 critic

Brokedown Palace (1999)

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0:31 | Trailer

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ON DISC
Two women are arrested for smuggling while vacationing in Thailand.

Director:

Jonathan Kaplan

Writers:

Adam Fields (story), David Arata (story) | 1 more credit »
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Claire Danes ... Alice Marano
Kate Beckinsale ... Darlene Davis
Bill Pullman ... Hank Greene
Jacqueline Kim ... Yon Greene
Lou Diamond Phillips ... Roy Knox
Daniel Lapaine ... Nick Parks
Tom Amandes ... Doug Davis
Aimee Graham ... Beth Ann Gardener
John Doe ... Bill Marano
Kay Tong Lim Kay Tong Lim ... Chief Detective Jagkrit
Beulah Quo Beulah Quo ... Guard Velie
Henry O Henry O ... Emissary to Crown
Bahni Turpin ... Jamaican Prisoner
Amanda De Cadenet ... English Prisoner
Inthira Charoenpura Inthira Charoenpura ... Prisoner Shub (as Intira Jaroenpura)
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Storyline

Alice and Darlene, best friends, decide to take a trip to Thailand to celebrate high-school graduation. While there, they are befriended by charming Australian rogue Nick Parks. Nick convinces them to take a weekend side trip to Hong Kong, but at the airport, they are busted for smuggling drugs. They are convicted in a show trial and sentenced to 33 years; in desperation, they contact Yankee Hank, an American lawyer based in Thailand who has been reported to be helpful if you've got the cash. Written by Jon Reeves <jreeves@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A perfect summer/A perfect stranger/A perfect set up See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for brief strong language, drug related material and some violent content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Thai

Release Date:

13 August 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Two Girls See more »

Filming Locations:

Bangkok, Thailand See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,871,616, 15 August 1999, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$10,114,315, 24 October 1999
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Paul Walker has an uncredited cameo as one of the girls' boyfriend in the opening moments of the film See more »

Goofs

When the girls are being escorted out of the airport, you can see a large crowd of people behind a waiting line rope. These are most likely local residents who clamored to get a glimpse of the movie while being filmed as all of them are clearly watching the scenario as it unfolds. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
'Yankee' Hank Green: I scheduled the hearing for the Burmese.
See more »

Connections

Featured in HBO First Look: Brokedown Palace (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Leave It Alone (Thai Version)
Written by David Usher, Mark Makowy, Kevin Young, Jeff Pearce, Paul Wilcox
Performed by Moist
Courtesy of EMI Music Canada & Arista Records, Inc.
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User Reviews

A gripping dramatic thriller that works thanks to the terrific performances.
23 August 2003 | by Li-1See all my reviews

*** out of ****

Brokedown Palace has an intriguing premise: two best friends (Kate Beckinsale and Claire Danes) fresh from high school are on their summer vacation in Thailand, but are arrested for possession of narcotics, found guilty and sentenced to 33 years in a women's prison. Admittedly, I'm aware of several films with similar stories (Midnight Express, Return to Paradise, and Red Corner), and I must also admit I've only see one of those three aforementioned films, which might be why much of it felt fresh and engrossing to me. Either that, or it's just a story that's told damn well.

Bill Pullman also stars in the picture as an American lawyer named Hank Greene, who feels for the girls' plight and fights to prove their innocence. But the real focus is on Beckinsale and Danes, whose wonderful performances are the anchor to the film's drama and moral quandaries. Beckinsale's Darlene is the more reserved and quieter of the two, the kind of person who sort of follows her friend without question, and certainly not the type to take unwarranted risks (unless her friend persuades her to). She's almost a direct opposite of Danes' Alice, whose outgoing and semi-rebellious behavior is the indirect link to their current troubles.

I hesitate to give much more of the movie away, suffice to say that their friendship is what's ultimately put to the test, and watching the twists and turns (almost all of which are perfectly believable) in the story is utterly captivating. The film slinks to melodrama in its climactic moments, but still rings true thanks to the tour-de-force turns from Beckinsale and Danes.

It's an open-ended question as to whether or not either of the girls committed the crime of smuggling narcotics, and such ambiguity might upset some, but I liked not knowing for certain, and it's not as if it makes the final scenes any less believable. In fact, the ambiguity only makes it all the more compelling. Yes, the plot has its share of head-scratching moments (what purpose does that Thai girl who despises Darlene and Alice really serve?) and lacks subtlety on occasion, but it's a well-crafted film that boasts great performances, and has the guts not to cop out in the end.


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