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The Quiet American (1958)

TV-PG  |   |  Drama, Romance, Thriller  |  8 February 1958 (USA)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 1,035 users  
Reviews: 16 user | 12 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:

El americano tranquilo  »

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

The American: 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.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Simpsons: Smart & Smarter (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

La Cathédrale engloutie
(uncredited)
Composed by Claude Debussy
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User Reviews

 
An Excellent Adaptation!
9 January 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Sir Michael Redgrave gave a brilliant performance as the British journalist who befriends a naive American businessman. When his friend is murdered, he recalls the circumstances around his arrival and their relationship. The events take place in Saigon, Vietnam in post World War II and before the catastrophic Vietnam war. The naive American businessman isn't so naive at times. He wants to help the Vietnamese but he doesn't know the game there. The British journalist is married to a woman in England but lives with a beautiful Vietnamese woman, Phuong. I had to read this book for my 20th Century American History Class. The American played by Audie Murphy did a fantastic job against Redgrave. The love triangle for Phuong is believable yet under-stated and tame. There is plenty of intrigue and suspicion. Life before the Vietnam war is uncertain and there are clues to the upcoming conflict. This film was done before the Vietnam War and is telling about international relations especially American's fear of communism ruling the world. Graham Greene's novel is perfectly adapted to the screen here.


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