At Maria Vargas' funeral, several people recall who she was and the impact she had on them. Harry Dawes was a not very successful writer/director when he and movie producer Kirk Edwards ... See full summary »
Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Inspired by a performance of his favorite play, "Volpone," 20th-century millionaire Cecil Fox devises an intricate plan to trick three of his former mistresses into believing he is dying. ... See full summary »
Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Remake of "To Have and Have Not" based on Hemingway short story. Plot reset to early days of Cuban revolution. A charter boat skipper gets entangled in gunrunning scheme to get money to pay... See full summary »
In New York, after seven years in prison, the lawyer Max Monetti goes to the bank of his brothers Joe, Tony and Pietro Monetti and promises revenge to them. Then he visits his lover Irene ... See full summary »
Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Edward G. Robinson,
During the Korean War, a glory-hunting sergeant leads his platoon on a mission against the enemy--not telling them that a cease-fire has just been declared--so that he can win medals. ... See full summary »
A scrappy fighter from Jersey City named Tommy Shea -- "born in a dump, educated in an alley" -- catches the eye of wealthy businessman, Robert Mallinson, who allows him to train at his ... See full summary »
In this adaptation of Graham Greene's prophetic novel about U.S. foreign policy failure in pre-war Indochina, Audie Murphy plays an innocent Young American opposite the older, cynical Brit Michael Redgrave. They play out their widely different views on the prospects struggle for the hearts and minds of the Vietnamese people in their competition over a young woman. Murphy wants to reform her and make her a typical middle class American housewife; Redgrave accepts her inability to formulate or retain a political ideal and while promising her no real future, he objects to Murphy's attempts to change her. It's not clear whether Murphy is just what he appears - a bungling Yankee do-gooder - or a deliberate agent of U.S. covert operations. Written by
Rita Richardson <RRichar790@aol.com>
In Europe, director-writer Joseph L. Mankiewicz was savagely attacked for his film's infidelity to the source novel by Graham Greene, not least by Greene himself. The screenplay essentially turns the novel inside-out, so that the blundering "quiet American", whose extreme naiveté causes tragedy and his own death despite his having only the best of intentions, is transformed into a shrewd and heroic figure, far wiser and more honorable than his British rival. Mankiewicz later referred to the film as "very bad" (although he also liked to point out that Jean-Luc Godard had called it the best film of its year) and claimed that he had not been able to concentrate on the film because of the mental collapse of his wife, Rose Stradner, who committed suicide soon after he had finished it. See more »
I'm from a country that's been in existence for less than two hundred years, in a very old world. That same fifty years ago, we were barely taken seriously as a nation, much less a great force for wisdom and decision. But suddenly now, a watch tick of history later, the world waits angrily for us to provide the answers it hasn't been able to find in fifty centuries.
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The Quiet American is not one of the greatest Greene books, coming after the successes of the Thirties and Forties, but it is a very entertaining read. Joe Mankiewicz made a great adaptation to the screen with superb actors. I will take Michael Redgrave, Giorgia Moll and Claude Dauphin over Michael Caine, Do Thi Hai Yen and Rade Serbedzija in the 2002 version any day, and as for Audie Murphy--sure he's no Hamlet, but his dogged determination and easy Southern charm impress me more than Brendan Fraser in the role of Pyle, that dangerously quiet American.
I was pleased by the way the story unfolded, the political themes were well worked out, and the Cao Dai scenes were very good. Don't forget that in 1956 the city scapes of Saigon and the countryside still had not been modernized; you are seeing the real thing. The pairing of Redgrave and Dauphin is as entertaining as that of Bogart and Rains in Casablanca: is there any higher praise?
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