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
Railroad surveyer Murphy goes after rustlers who murdered his father and brother. Along the way, he first arrests then teams up with outlaw Duryea who helps Murphy only to see how long the ... See full summary »
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
In the old West, a small frontier town is being controlled by ruthless mob boss Decker and his cronies. After the local sheriff dies under mysterious circumstances, Decker arranges to have ... See full summary »
Murphy deserts the Union Army to warn former Texas neighbors of impending Indian attacks triggered by Army massacre. He overcomes initial distrust and convinces the homesteaders (all women ... See full summary »
Billy the Kid becomes embroiled in Lincoln County, NM, land wars. When rancher who gave him a break is killed by rival henchman, Billy vows revenge. New employer takes advantage of his ... See full summary »
Jim Harvey is hired to guard a small wagon train as it makes its way west. The train is attacked by Indians and Harvey, hoping to persuade Aguila, the chief, to call off the attack due to ... 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 »
[after having some drinks in the bar]
I mean the defense of this country was conceived in the 19th Century and being fought in the 20th from Beau Geste forts that were built a century before the trenches of Verdun.
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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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