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The Quiet American (1958)

6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 922 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 13 critic

A young naive American and a cynical older British diplomat disagree over politics in 1952 Vietnam and over a beautiful young native girl.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Claude Dauphin ...
...
...
Fred Sadoff ...
Dominguez
Kerima ...
Richard Loo ...
Peter Trent ...
Eliot Wilkins
Georges Bréhat ...
French Colonel (as Georges Brehat)
Clinton Anderson ...
Joe Morton
Yôko Tani ...
Rendezvous Hostess
Nguyen Long ...
Boy with Mask
C. Long Cuong ...
Boy in Watchtower
Tu An ...
Boy in Watchtower
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Storyline

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>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance | Thriller | War

Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

8 February 1958 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Vier Pfeifen Opium  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TCM Print)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Quotes

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

Connections

Featured in Dangerous Edge: A Life of Graham Greene (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

La Cathédrale engloutie
(uncredited)
Composed by Claude Debussy
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not like original book
23 December 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A love triangle played out in early 50s Saigon (prior to independence). A British reporter gets to know a younger American of seemingly innocent intent--the American wants the British reporter's mistress for a wife.

There were at least 2 versions of this book made into films this one (1958) and a later one with Michaeal Caine.

This movie has a plot twist not in the book that makes it in a way a bit more interesting but not nearly as realistic. Most viewers would probably disagree. I thought at first I had forgotten the story from the book.

Greene's best novels are about as good as they get....a lot of the lines in the movie are lifted from the book--which makes for a very good quality script.

Recommend...need to see the Caine version....to compare. Have my doubts about it being better as it was made in the modern PC era.


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