Brokedown PalaceAugust 13, 1999
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
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
Lou Diamond Phillips
Beth Ann Gardener
Kay Tong Lim
Chief Detective Jagkrit
Emissary to Crown
Amanda De Cadenet
What is your dream? How far would you go? Who could you trust?
Release Date: 13 August 1999
Filming Locations: Bangkok, Thailand
Opening Weekend: $3,871,616
(15 August 1999)
(24 October 1999)
Did You Know?
Jennifer Love Hewitt lost the role of Darlene to Kate Beckinsale because of scheduling conflicts.
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.
'Yankee' Hank Green:
I scheduled the hearing for the Burmese.
Cold, hard truth
I'm a little surprised by the negative criticism this film is
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
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.