Painted Veil

Painted Veil

4.6 25
Director: John J. Curran

Cast: John J. Curran, Naomi Watts, Edward Norton, Liev Schreiber


A couple with a broken relationship learns some valuable lessons about love, life, and sacrifice in this romantic drama based on a novel by W. Somerset Maugham. It's 1925, and Dr. Walter Fane (Edward Norton) is a physician and bacteriologist who has become smitten with Kitty (Naomi Watts), the beautiful…  See more details below


A couple with a broken relationship learns some valuable lessons about love, life, and sacrifice in this romantic drama based on a novel by W. Somerset Maugham. It's 1925, and Dr. Walter Fane (Edward Norton) is a physician and bacteriologist who has become smitten with Kitty (Naomi Watts), the beautiful daughter of a wealthy and socially prominent family. Walter proposes marriage to Kitty and she accepts; however, while he clearly loves her, Kitty is more interested in her reputation than Walter's feelings, as she's recently turned 25, an age by which most of her peers have already wed. Kitty and Walter move to Shanghai, where he sets up a practice and she takes a lover, the British Vice Consul Charles Townsend (Liev Schreiber). When Walter learns of his wife's infidelity, he becomes furious, and impulsively volunteers to travel to China to work in a village stricken with a major cholera epidemic. While Walter's actions are meant to punish Kitty rather than reflect his own benevolence, the daily trials of living in a community in crisis have a striking impact on the couple, giving them a new and deeper perspective on their relationship. The Painted Veil is the third screen adaptation of Maugham's best-selling novel of the same name; a 1934 version starred Greta Garbo and Herbert Marshall, while Eleanor Parker and Bill Travers played the leads in a 1957 remake titled The Seventh Sin.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Warner Home Video
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Sales rank:

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Naomi Watts Kitty Fane
Edward Norton Walter Fane
Liev Schreiber Charlie Townsend
Toby Jones Waddington
Diana Rigg Mother Superior
Catherine An Hostess
Li Bin Te-Ming
Wu Bin Student 1
Alan David Mr. Garstin
Marie-Laure Descoureaux Sister St. Joseph
Sally Hawkins Mary
Juliet Howland Dorothy Townsend
Lorraine Laurence Sister Maryse
Johnny Lee Angry Chinese Man
Feng Ligang Sung Ching
Gesang Meiduo Amah
Yin Qing Student 2
Ian Rennick Geoffrey Denison
Cheng Shihan Warlord Kwei
Liang Sigie Student 3
Maggie Steed Mrs. Garstin
Henry Sylow Walter Junior
Zoe Telford Leona
Lucy Voller Doris Garstin
Anthony Wong Colonel Yu
Lu Yan Wan Xi
Xia Yu Wu Lien
Ma Yun Student 4
Lin Zheng Chinese Opera Star
Yao Tian Hua Singing Orphan
Wu Di Singing Orphan
Liu Yue Qi Singing Orphan
Li Zhuo Er Singing Orphan
Hu Jia Yi Singing Orphan
Guo Yu Tong Singing Orphan
Zhao Wei Xin Singing Orphan
Chen Xiangqi Singing Orphan
Shi Tong Xuan Singing Orphan
Tang Yu Xin Singing Orphan
Cheng Yu Yang Singing Orphan
Guo Jia Hui Singing Orphan
Huang Yi Yuan Singing Orphan
Xu Shu Hao Singing Orphan
Fei Yue Singing Orphan
Meng Ting Yu Singing Orphan
Cheng Zhu Yue Singing Orphan
Gao Qiao Jia Li Singing Orphan
Ming Fang Singing Orphan
Tan Ya Zuo Singing Orphan
John Cann Businessman in Colony Club
Maurice Herschtal Businessman in Colony Club
Bill Marcus Businessman in Colony Club
Shobauro Hiratsuka Businessman in Colony Club
Alexandre Desplat Conductor

Technical Credits
John J. Curran Director,Executive Producer
Antonia Barnard Co-producer,Executive Producer
Michael Bigger Makeup
Wu Bin Stunts
Sara Colleton Producer
Alexandre de Franceschi Editor
Alexandre Desplat Score Composer
Leslie Devlin Makeup
Stuart Dryburgh Cinematographer
Jason Faulkner Asst. Director
Jean-Francois Fonlupt Producer
Yasmine Golchan Co-producer
Mark Gordon Executive Producer
Victoria Hamilton Translator
Li Jieyi Stunts
Yang Jinguo Special Effects
Tu Juhua Production Designer
Li Jun Set Decoration/Design
Robert Katz Executive Producer
Mei Kunping Art Director
Ming "Beaver" Kwei Associate Producer
Mo Lan Casting
Peta Lawson Art Director
Ellen Lewis Casting
Cameron McLean Camera Operator
Ruth Myers Costumes/Costume Designer
Edward Norton Producer
Ron Nyswaner Executive Producer,Screenwriter
Yin Qing Stunts
Hu Guoguang Qinjian Stunts
Claire Saunders Casting
Liang Sigie Stunts
Li Hua Sze Stunts
James Szyszko Choreography
Maggie Tang Production Manager
John Timperley Sound Mixer
Derek Vanderhorst Sound/Sound Designer
Naomi Watts Producer
Wang "Christie" Xin Makeup
Zan "Cindear" Xin Translator
Tu Xinran Art Director
Xing Yanrong Art Director
Bob Yari Producer
Yang Yimin Special Effects
Lee "Johnny" Man Yiu Asst. Director
Ma Yun Stunts
W. Somerset Maugham Source Author

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- The Painted Veil
1. Credits [3:44]
2. Kitty's Young Man [3:33]
3. Newlyweds [6:15]
4. Weeping Woman [4:54]
5. Behind a Locked Door [3:52]
6. Walter's Threat [6:59]
7. What Walter Knew [5:07]
8. Arrival at Mei-Tan-Fu [6:09]
9. Seeing Cholera [4:20]
10. Unsent Letter [3:30]
11. Looking to Kill Yourself? [1:51]
12. No Place for a Woman [4:31]
13. Mother Superior [4:38]
14. Convent Tour [2:15]
15. Stop Punishing Me [4:40]
16. Useless in Common [6:49]
17. Your Country's Guns [2:57]
18. Military Interpretation [2:06]
19. Ways of Looking [5:54]
20. Menace in the Streets [2:52]
21. Loved for One's Virtue [3:29]
22. Night of Intimacies [4:06]
23. Sharing the Day [3:53]
24. With Child [3:32]
25. Refugee Invasion [3:34]
26. Love and Duty [3:35]
27. Taken Ill [3:32]
28. Forgive Me [5:10]
29. No One Important [1:55]
30. End Credits [4:51]


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The Painted Veil 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was totally taken aback by how much I loved this movie. I had never heard of the book or the movie before now. It's a love story about real people who make mistakes and come to find the best in themselves and in one another when they thought it was hopeless. And the final scene was perfectly done and oh-so-satisfying. I know one reviewer said it was too sad to be watched more than once and I respectfully beg to differ. I watched it again the next night to see if it had the same seductive power to draw me in again, and it did. A real satisfying love story to watch again and again....
csquared More than 1 year ago
because it's not a love story in the sappy, romantic comedy sense. It's characters feel real and the emotions feel raw. It is a beautiful story of betrayal and forgiveness. The scenery was beautiful, but like the movie, raw and real. Even with the sad ending, I have watched this movie several times already, and would still watch it again and again.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Though some readers who are familiar with the novel, 'The Painted Veil', may have quibbles about the altered sequences and places of action and character emphasis in Ron Nyswaner's screenplay, those disparities pale in comparison to the superb acting and cinematic treatment of Maugham's story about the development of love in the most unlikely situation. John Curran directs his superb cast with fluid movement, allowing the story to unfold in flashbacks in a manner suggestive of the longing and the nightmares of dreams. Bacteriologist physician Dr. Kane (Edward Norton) is devoted to his work, and part of his work is to quickly marry so that he may proceed with his obsession with his career. In London he is introduced to the reluctant Kitty (Naomi Watts), a lass who continues to look for the perfect love of her life, but is confronted with reality when her father demands she marry. Kitty is not attracted to Dr. Kane but agrees to marry him and soon they are off to China. While in Shanghai (no, not Hong Kong) Kitty is bored until she meets Charlie Townsend (Liev Schreiber) who, though married and a man of public image, sweeps Kitty off her feet. Their affair is discovered by Dr. Kane and he insists that Kitty either follow him to a small village in interior China, a town besieged by cholera, or go public with a divorce. Kitty turns to her lover Charlie who refuses to divorce his society wife and Kitty sadly follows her husband to the sick village. Once settled in the village the couple is befriended by a fellow British gentleman Waddington (Toby Jones) and while Dr. Kane works devotedly with his patients and his epidemiological efforts to stem the cholera, Kitty finds refuge with a group of nuns who care for the children of the dead. The Mother Superior (Diana Rigg) helps Kitty to adjust and to see the inherent good in her husband, a man who is not only a fine physician but also able to accept the fact that his once disconsolate wife is pregnant, probably as a result of her dalliance with Charlie Townsend. As the couple begin to accept and appreciate each other the disease strikes home and the story ends with evidence of inner growth in everyone involved. Norton, Watts, Jones, and Rigg are radiant in their understated roles - Norton's English accent is superb. The beauty of the film is due in a large part to the beauty of the landscapes of China, but also in an equal part to the eloquent cinematography of Stuart Dryburgh and the musical score composed by Alexandre Desplat (with a nod of Satie) and played by pianist Lang Lang. The film is as soft in appearance as a painted veil and the mood it creates lingers - even for those who prefer the written novel! Grady Harp
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read the book, which the movie is based on: author W. Somerset Maugham, last november. It was a quiet amazing book. Sadly I did not get the chance to see the movie in theater. I bought the DVD today blindly, without having seen it. Now I have see it. I only can say - BRILLIANT MOVIE. The were soo close to the book - only that the two main character got romanticly involved at the end. But I loved that change. It is a quiet excellent movie with two facinating actors. Naomi and Edward are perfect for the roles. For everyone who loves a calme movie this is it. I already loved the book and I am soo happy that they transformed it into a wonderful movie. SEE IT!!!!!! _________________
Guest More than 1 year ago
Usually I prefer the book to a movie made following a book, but not in this case! The photography was breathtaking. The character development in the movie was more satisfying to me than that of the book. There are some changes to certain scenes, which seem to work. This movie receives my highest rating.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The only reason I didn't give this movie 5 stars was because it was too sad which makes the audience not want to watch it more than once or rarely. But the acting and character depth was superb. The romance was romantic yet realistic. Although not a happy ending, it was a satisfying ending, and I suppose that the best I can ask for in these kind of dramas. I didn't read the book, so I am just judging it as the movie. I loved it - you probably will too.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Such a realistic movie, nothing compares. I haven't read the book yet, but apparently it varies greatly from the novel.. In the beginning, Kitty didn't love Walter. It wasn't that she discovered she loved him later on, it wasn't that the already blossoming love she had for him grew so that it had to be noticed- it wasn't there. That's one of the things I love about it, it's not really a love at first sight thing, it's a different kind of romance. Kitty marries Walter Fane to get away from her intolerable mother- they move to Shanghai, where she meets Charlie Townsend. The two have an adulterous affair, which is discovered by Walter. He punishes Kitty by taking her off to a rural village called 'Mei-tan-fu', where the people are suffering from a terrible cholera outbreak and he shall work as a doctor. -The alternative is for him to divorce her publicly.- It is here, in this small village with it's humble people, and with the emotional shepherd Waddington, that Kitty begins to mature, becoming less and less the shallow, self-centered person she was before, and more and more sympathetic and open. Overall, an unsure, shallow and self-centered woman matures- a resenting, angry man who feels betrayed and unloved rediscovers his love for a faithless wife. It was very sad, but I love that, because it was realistic.
JK1960 More than 1 year ago
I loved this movie. Excellent performances by Norton and Naomi Watts. I loved Norton's character. A quiet and patient doctor turns vengeful and distant when betrayed by his wife. Very sexy.
KirbeeN More than 1 year ago
Having read the book by W. Somerset Maugham before I saw this, I wasn't sure what to expect. The novel is great, but certainly no love story. I found myself frustrated after reading the book, which is meant to be unsatisfying and sad. This movie tells the story I wished the book had. A couple, who trapped in a shattered marriage, finds the possibility of love once stripped from everything but each other. The casting and acting is spot-on. The setting is gorgeous, and there are so many stunning shots of the undeveloped China at its finest. It's romantic, but not superficially so. Unfortunately, it was very overlooked in the box office. Don't miss it now.
Aglaia More than 1 year ago
I am very biased about this movie, as it is one of the closest to my heart. I had not read the novel before the film, so I have no advice on that. But I do say that the film stands on its own. I don`t think there was much hype about this movie, once again, undeservedly, as it such a sad, compelling tale of two people who get married for all the wrong reasons, who have faults, and who make mistakes, and pay a heavy price for those mistakes. Kitty marries Dr. Walter Fane, a reclusive, committed scientist, who finds it hard to express his emotions, because he wants to get away from his mother. They move to Shanghai, where she embarks upon an adulterous affair with a diplomat. Her husband makes her an offer, instead of a scandalous divorce, she can join him in a distant Chinese province, where he will be fighting a cholera outbreak. This travel, and their life "in the time of cholera" will change them, and their appreciation for each other for good. There is strenght, and tension in the performances, both actors do an excellent job. The Chinese landscape is so stunning, it complements well the tale being told. I highly recommend this movie, it stays with you.
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