The Painted Veil (2006) Blog Entry
Stars: Naomi Watts, Edward Norton, Live Schreiber
Screenplay: Ron Nyswaner
This adaptation of Somerset Maugham’s novel is much closer
to the original than the Greta Garbo vehicle (1934). The Garbo version inserts a whitewashed
family life for Kitty in London before she marries, and a romanticized
reconciliation of Kitty and her husband Walter at the end. In between, Garbo’s affair with Charlie (George
Brent) is used, but much of the wonderful, painful, insightful, dialogue
between Kitty and Charlie and Kitty and her husband is left out.
The Painted Veil
W. Somerset Maugham,
published in 1925. First published in
serialized form in Cosmopolitan (1924).
The title of Maugham’s novel is
taken from Percy Bysshe Shelley's sonnet, which begins "Lift not the
painted veil which those who live / Call Life.”
Maugham originally wrote the story
about a character whose name was Lane, but after the success of a case for
libel against the publishers by a Hong Kong couple, he changed it to Fane. After the then Assistant Colonial Secretary
in Hong Kong also threatened legal action, the name of the colony was changed to
You can listen to "The Painted Veil" on Audible.
THE PAINTED VEIL (1934)
Greta Garbo, Herbert Marshall, George Brent
• 1957 with
Eleanor Parker (the Seventh Sin).
• 2006 with Naomi
Directed by Richard Boleslawski
Screenplay: John Meehan, Salka Viertel and Edith Fitzgerald
Based on the novel by Somerset Maugham (1925)
Film Editor: Hugh Wynn
Costumes by Adrian.
During the early 20s, Garbo made an extraordinary amount
money for the studio.
This article is a fascinating deconstruction of one scene in
Hitchcock's "Dial M for Murder." The scene is the one where Milland
talks to Swan, the man he is recruiting to murder his wife. This scene
lasts over 20 minutes, a substantial part of the film. The article
takes apart the interesting camera work and the positioning of the
actors and the camera. It's well worth a read.
William Holden in "The Golden Boy."
The Dark Past (1948)
William Holden (1918-1981), Lee J. Cobb (1911-1976)
According to TCM, Lee J. Cobb was not happy making this film. His daily crabbiness and dissatisfaction
evidently so affected William Holden (who was trying to put back together a
film career after his service in WWII) Nina Foch (the female lead) started
having Holden come to her trailer for breakfast. She supposedly consoled Holden and convinced
him that in a few years, he would be more famous than Cobb.
Alma Reville (1988-1982)
It’s Alma’s birthday today.
Alva Reville was an English screenwriter and film editor and
a large part of Alfred Hitchcock’s brain.
Charlie Champlin wrote in 1982: "The Hitchcock touch had four
hands, and two were Alma's."
Alma actually started in the film industry before Hitchcock
and probably would have surpassed him had she been a man.
Hitchcock, however, was smart enough to recruit her as a
film editor on the first film where he had any say.
Nocturne No. 20 in C-sharp Minor (Little Neal Dancing in my
This solo piano piece was composed by Chopin in 1930 and
dedicated to his older sister. It was
not pubished until 1870, 21 years after the composer’s death.
The piece was played by Holocaust survivor Natalia Karp for
the Nazi concentration camp commandant Amon Goeth while she was imprisoned in
Plaszow concentration camp in Poland.
Karp was ordered to play and she chose this piece because it was