Thomas Fowler
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Quotes for
Thomas Fowler (Character)
from The Quiet American (2002)

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The Quiet American (2002)
Thomas Fowler: If I lost her, for me, it would be the beginning of death.

[first lines]
Thomas Fowler: [narrating] I can't say what made me fall in love with Vietnam.That a woman's voice can drug you? That everything is so intense? The colors, the taste, even the rain. Nothing like the filthy rain in London.
Thomas Fowler: They say whatever you're looking for, you will find here. They say you come to Vietnam and you understand a lot in a few minutes, but the rest has got to be lived. The smell: that's the first thing that hits you, promising everything in exchange for your soul. And the heat. Your shirt is straightaway a rag. You can hardly remember your name, or what you came to escape from. But at night, there's a breeze. The river is beautiful. You could be forgiven for thinking there was no war; that the gunshots were fireworks; that only pleasure matters. A pipe of opium, or the touch of a girl who might tell you she loves you. And then, something happens, as you knew it would. And nothing can ever be the same again.

Thomas Fowler: I know I am behaving badly, but I have every intention of behaving badly. As a matter of fact, this is exactly the kind of situation where one should behave badly.

[last lines]
Thomas Fowler: [voiceover] They say you come to Vietnam and understand a lot in a few minutes. The rest has got to be lived. They say whatever it was you were looking for, you will find here. They say there is a ghost in every house, and if you can make peace with him, he will stay quiet.

Thomas Fowler: Pyle est mort. Assassinated.

Thomas Fowler: [to Pyle, who has just saved his life] If I had died, you could have had her.

Thomas Fowler: Colonel The.
Hinh: [Correcting him] General The.
Thomas Fowler: Who made him a General?
Hinh: He did.

Hinh: [after Thomas Fowler, in Saigon, receives a letter recalling him back to London] I thought you liked London.
Thomas Fowler: I do. But I like London fine where it is, I don't want to bloody go there.

Phuong: Pyle est mort?
Thomas Fowler: Yes,
Phuong: Pyle was in love with me.

Alden Pyle: Have you had a lot of women, Thomas?
Thomas Fowler: You start out by being promiscuous and end up like your grandfather... faithful to one woman.

Alden Pyle: I trusted you. Thomas.
Thomas Fowler: Always a mistake with a woman involved.

Thomas Fowler: I have never thought of myself as a correspondent, just a reporter. I offer no point of view, I take no action, I don't get involved. I just report what I see.
Alden Pyle: But you must have an opinion.
Thomas Fowler: Even an opinion is a form of action.


The Quiet American (1958)
Thomas Fowler: [Noticing to the Vietnamese women who are reacting to him] What's all the chattering and giggling about?
Phuong: They think I have come back to you.

Thomas Fowler: Do you got a cigarette?
The American: Keep the pack. I've got some more.
Thomas Fowler: [Angrily] I asked for one cigarette, not economic aid. I don't want to be impressed by how many packs you've got!
[He slaps the pack away]

Thomas Fowler: Shall we save the truth for dinner?

Thomas Fowler: You'd have made a good priest, Vigot. What is there about you that would make it so easy to confess... if there were anything to confess?
Inspector Vigot: [Keenly] You mix for yourself a drink, but you're not drinking it.
Thomas Fowler: It might be unwise. There are no secrets of the confessional in your profession.
Inspector Vigot: Secrecy is seldom important to a man who confesses. He has other motives.

Thomas Fowler: [to the American] You should never trust anyone when there's a woman in the case.

Thomas Fowler: [Sarcastically, surprised to see Vigot sitting inside his apartment] You don't seem to be recovering much damaging evidence.
Inspector Vigot: [while drinking a coke] There is nothing more dangerous than an American soft drink? Care for one?

The American: [Somewhat sarcastically, after Fowler has advised him it would be wiser to give the two ARVN guards in the tower their two remaining cigarettes] I wouldn't have thought you suggest using economic aid to but friends...
Thomas Fowler: [Referring to the two young guards] They're scared. I wouldn't blame them if they handed us over to the Communists. They don't believe in anything either. They just want enough rice. They want one day to be much the same as another. They don't want our white skins around telling them what they want.
The American: You're telling them what they don't want, which is the same thing.

Thomas Fowler: [In the restaurant] I didn't know you were here.
Phuong's Sister: I'm dining with friends.
Phuong's Sister: Who is that man dancing with my sister?
Thomas Fowler: An American.
Phuong's Sister: Is he wealthy?
Thomas Fowler: That you'll have to ask him.
Phuong's Sister: He looks quiet and reliable. Is he married?
Thomas Fowler: I told you you'll have to ask him.
Phuong's Sister: I would say not. Whenever an American is married, he looks married.

Thomas Fowler: [Narrating a flashback as the American dances with Phoung] He held her properly - not too close - the way you're supposed to hold another man's girl according to the rules.