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  • The Painted Veil
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The Painted Veil

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Product Details

  • Actors: Herbert Marshall, George Brent, Warner Oland, Jean Hersholt, Katharine Alexander Greta Garbo
  • Directors: Richard Boleslawski
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Archive Collection
  • DVD Release Date: June 11, 2013
  • Run Time: 86 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00DEO0JD2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #35,590 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

One year after 1933's Queen Christina, Greta Garbo again portrays a heroine faced with irrevocable choices. She plays Katrin in The Painted Veil, an exotic love triangle loosely based on W. Somerset Maugham's novel. The story unfolds in China, where Katrin's marriage to busy M.D. Walter Fane (Herbert Marshall) is in trouble. Lonely and neglected, Katrin falls in love with diplomatic attaché Jack Townsend (George Brent). When Walter discovers the affair, he takes Katrin inland to fight a cholera epidemic, maliciously thinking the disease will kill them both. But working together helps rebuild their marriage... until Townsend resurfaces. Now Katrin must choose. MGM backed The Painted Veil with a then-opulent $1 million budget, but the real attraction remains Garbo and her incomparable mystique. Said The New York Times in a review of the film: "She is the most miraculous blend of personality and sheer dramatic talent the screen has ever known."

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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See all 16 customer reviews
Everyone deserves a second chance!
Sue Lipscomb
Frankly, I don't think the Garbo "mystique" holds up so well over the decades, and she doesn't add anything special to this "weepie", as they use to call them.
A. J. Sneed
Check out the bar..very KONTIKI...gotta buy this one..
M. Potter

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Simon Davis on August 11, 2003
Format: VHS Tape
I always feel approaching a Greta Garbo film to review it is like entering some Sacred Temple where one must show due respect and restraint.For the whole of the 1930's decade she along with Joan Crawford and Norma Shearer held the prime positions as the annointed Queens of MGM. Garbo however always seemed to have her own special niche in the pecking order and always had more popularity with European audiences than with the average American movie going public who flocked to Crawford's shop girl melodramas and Shearer's lady like portrayals in high society settings.
Fresh from her triumph in "Queen Christina", the previous year MGM legend Garbo tackled this modern dress romantic film which turned out to be her last modern themed film for quite some time. Indeed by this stage in her career Garbo was down to only making one film a year so her productions were always viewed as special events even when their stories might not have always been up to the quality of the rest of the production. "The Painted Veil", is a classic example of just this. While the story itself is fairly ordinary the same cannot be said for the lavish production with all its "A" list features, and the interesting central performance by Garbo. The story centres around an Austrian girl named Katrin who after the wedding of her only sister finds herself at a loose end and lonely for companionship. Still in the fallout from the wedding Katrin meets her father's assistant Dr. Walter Fane (Herbert Marshall), a sturdy but unexciting man who is immediately infatuated with Katrin and on a whim asks her to marry him before he returns to his position in Hong Kong.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By "scotsladdie" on May 19, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
Set in the mysterious Orient, Garbo is cast as an unfaithful wife who eventually mends her ways........... she's magnificent throughout this rather weak story in one stunning scene after another (Garbo alone is worth the "price of admission"). Garbo just had finished her smash hit QUEEN CHRISTINA when she went into this rather mediocre Maugham tale. The rather melodramatic story, which was adapted for the screen by John Meehan, Salka Viertel and Edith Fitzgerald, seems to hark back to Garbo's silent films as she's torn between a worthy husband and a passionate lover; its plot is curiously similar to that of WILD ORCHIDS (1928) except that China replaces Java as the exotic locale. It was rumoured offscreen that Garbo and Brent had a briefly torrid little affair; however Garbo baulked when Brent insisted on marriage!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By E. Sadowski on July 1, 2013
Format: DVD
Finally! Warner Brothers has released this 1934 version of Greta Garbo's film on DVD-R. Again, it bears repeating that it is a DVD-R and NOT a regular DVD so please make sure that your DVD player and computer are compatible with DVD-Rs so that you are not disappointed if it doesn't play. Having said this, and as Desert Dancer has written earlier, the quality of the DVD-R is much improved over the faded VHS copy. Although Warner Brothers claims that they only use the best available copy of the film and do not try improving the quality of the film or sound yet I do believe that some remastering is done given the age of the film. I do not believe that any film made in the 30s can remain looking as good as it does without a minor tweaking done to it even though it is not perfect. The blacks, whites, and grays look better and the sound is much improved with miniscule (if any) pops or hisses. The only part that doesn't look as good and has the same issue on the VHS copy is the background of China when Dr. and Mrs. Fane are travelling back from their honeymoon on a ship. Since the background with Chinese boats was filmed elsewhere and then put on giant movie screens it does look a bit faded out but perhaps there was no way to fix the problem since most movies back then were filmed on studio lots while some background shots were filmed elsewhere which was a common practice back then.

Anyway, the film is loosely based on Maugham Somerset's book of the same name. Dr. Fane (Herbert Marshall) vacations in Austria where he falls in love with Katrin (Greta Garbo) and proposes to her shortly before leaving back to China. Katrin marries him and goes back to China with him where, as a busy M.D., he tends to neglect his wife who through loneliness and neglect enters into an affair with another man.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Desert Dancer on June 22, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I have the VHS version of this movie and had been waiting impatiently for a DVD format to come available. I ordered this DVD the same day it was released. I really love this movie. Garbo gives a wonderful performance and the theme of her finding out what love really is and really means is rather touching.

I have not read the book that this movie is loosely based on, so I can't give a comparison on that. But, I have heard it is very loosely based on the book. I don't think it should really be compared to the book, because it is completely separate...this is a Garbo vehicle, not a direct filming of a book plot. This film is for Garbo to shine and to give the Garbolaters (those are people who practice "Garbolatry" (idolatry for Garbo fans) a chance to glory in her performance. Garbo fans will indeed be beside themselves...there are many wonderful shots of her, close-ups, and of course her sincere and moving performance. However, the movie is more than a Garbo vehicle. It is a well-done film and others I've shown it to who aren't Garbomaniacs have enjoyed it as well. If you don't like 30's films, then of course reconsider, because this IS 1934.

I am impressed with the picture and sound quality in this. I have the VHS as well, and while it's not bad quality, the VHS picture is kind of grainy and the sound can be quiet and some of the dialogue can be hard to hear. When I put this DVD in, I thought, "Wow"! It is a noticeable improvement from the VHS. The picture is sharp and clear and the sound is focused and up front...I don't have to turn the volume up loud like I did on the VHS. Although, on Warner's website they said they didn't do any re-mastering, but they used the best quality video master available. So, while it's not like, say, the latest re-master of 'Casablanca', it's definitely a nice, clear picture and good, clear sound.

There are no special features, scene selections, subtitles, or trailer. This is the film only, and that is enough.
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