Brokedown Palace

August 13th, 1999


Brokedown Palace

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Still of Claire Danes and Kate Beckinsale in Brokedown PalaceStill of Bill Pullman in Brokedown PalaceStill of Claire Danes, Kate Beckinsale and Daniel Lapaine in Brokedown PalaceStill of Claire Danes and Kate Beckinsale in Brokedown PalaceStill of Kate Beckinsale in Brokedown PalaceStill of Bill Pullman and Lou Diamond Phillips in Brokedown Palace

Two women are arrested for smuggling while vacationing in Thailand.

Release Year: 1999

Rating: 6.2/10 (12,113 voted)

Critic's Score: 44/100

Director: Jonathan Kaplan

Stars: Claire Danes, Kate Beckinsale, Bill Pullman

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.

Writers: Adam Fields, David Arata

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 - Chief Detective Jagkrit
Beulah Quo - Guard Velie
Henry O - Emissary to Crown
Bahni Turpin - Jamaican Prisoner
Amanda De Cadenet - English Prisoner
Intira Jaroenpura - Prisoner Shub

Taglines: What is your dream? How far would you go? Who could you trust?


Official Website: Fox |

Release Date: 13 August 1999

Filming Locations: Bangkok, Thailand

Opening Weekend: $3,871,616 (USA) (15 August 1999) (1740 Screens)

Gross: $10,114,315 (USA) (24 October 1999)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Jennifer Love Hewitt lost the role of Darlene to Kate Beckinsale because of scheduling conflicts.

Revealing mistakes: At the end of the tape that Alice sends to Hank, the tape visibly stops before the last few sentences of her narrative are heard.

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

User Review

Cold, hard truth


I'm a little surprised by the negative criticism this film is attracting.

I'm old enough to be the father of the two main characters; they seemed like accurately drawn teenage girls to me. And I've probably hung out with both of their fathers before. I've been to the Far East. I've stayed in both better and worse places than the girls stayed. I had the pleasure of seeing the inside of a police station after I was robbed. I'm glad I had no more direct exposure to the local judicial system than that; that was more than enough. Everything in this movie seems awfully familiar to me.

I think "Brokedown Palace" represents something pretty close to stark realism. It certainly reminded me of Asia.

Of course it's true that the attitudes of the girls often don't do much to improve their situation. But they are meant to be an example of what not to do overseas. And the portrayal of some of the Thais did make me uncomfortable. But then many of my own personal travel anecdotes don't paint a complimentary picture either.

This is a cautionary tale. An unfortunate consequence of too many people having too much money to spend these days is that you will find unescorted, unprepared, "streetwise", naive young people popping up in places where they have no business being. And when that happens, you end up with situations mirroring this movie.

I suspect people choose to denigrate this one because they are too embarrassed to accept how true it is, and how vulnerable they would be if placed in similar circumstances.


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