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 ... 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, but he ends up an expendable pawn in the end. Written by
Rita Richardson <RRichar790@aol.com>
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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Graham Greene did not have a comfortable vision of the world--or at least of the activities of human beings in the world. While very few movies do justice to books on which they are based, the Quiet American is a chilling forewarning of what the United States would be letting itself in for in the years to come. Murphy, always an appealing figure on the screen but not noted for truly great acting depth and breadth, is ideal for this understated role. A very well done thriller which addresses racism, colonialism, various "economic"isms, all the while focusing on the individual human impacts of high level decision-making. Are we just pawns, forced into just following orders, or do we have the responsibility to take action on the side of what we know to be right, in spite of the personal cost?
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