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The Ugly American (1963)

6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 1,209 users  
Reviews: 22 user | 16 critic

An intelligent, articulate scholar, Harrison MacWhite, survives a hostile Senate confirmation hearing at the hands of conservatives to become ambassador to Sarkan, a southeast Asian country... See full summary »

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(novel), (novel), 2 more credits »
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Title: The Ugly American (1963)

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Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Deong
Sandra Church ...
Marion MacWhite
...
Homer Atkins
Arthur Hill ...
Grainger
...
Emma Atkins
Kukrit Pramoj ...
Prime Minister Kwen Sai
Judson Pratt ...
Joe Bing
Reiko Sato ...
Rachani, Deong's Wife
George Shibata ...
Munsang
Judson Laire ...
Senator Brenner
...
Ambassador Sears
Yee Tak Yip ...
Sawad, Deong's Assistant
Carl Benton Reid ...
Senator at Confirmation Hearing
Simon Scott
Edit

Storyline

An intelligent, articulate scholar, Harrison MacWhite, survives a hostile Senate confirmation hearing at the hands of conservatives to become ambassador to Sarkan, a southeast Asian country where civil war threatens a tense peace. Despite his knowledge, once he's there, MacWhite sees only a dichotomy between the U.S. and Communism. He can't accept that anti-American sentiment might be a longing for self-determination and nationalism. So, he breaks from his friend Deong, a local opposition leader, ignores a foreman's advice about slowing the building of a road, and tries to muscle ahead. What price must the country and his friends pay for him to get some sense? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The most explosive adventure of our time! See more »


Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

2 April 1963 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der häßliche Amerikaner  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One key role, that of the Sarkhanese Prime Minister, was filled quite capably by a non-professional, Kukrit Pramoj, a prominent Thai newspaper publisher, former Thai Finance Minister, and - as fate would have it - future Prime Minister (1975-76). Speaking in Bangkok the day after its world premiere, the film's star Marlon Brando brought forth gasps by labeling his precocious co-star a "dissembler, liar and thief." Before shock could turn to indignation, Brando - straight face intact - quickly broke the stunned silence. "Mr. Kukrit told me he couldn't act, and then proceeded to prove he could act and in fact acted me off the screen. He stole the whole show." See more »

Connections

Featured in Brando (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Annie Laurie
(uncredited)
Music by Lady John Scott; poem by William Douglas (1672-1748)
Excerpt performed unaccompanied by Marlon Brando
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Improves with age...
22 December 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Southeast Asian freedom fighter is duped by communists and American bumbling into misidentifying his and his people's true enemies. Endlessly fascinating how this straightforward and beautifully told story is misinterpreted decade after decade. The film leaves the viewer with feelings of nostalgia for an America that was once confident of its own decency, while at the same time pointing out how that aspect of the American character (meaning our confidence) could lead to dangerous miscalculations. If you want to see a really disturbing segue, watch the last scene back-to-back with Colonel Kurtz's soliloquy on communists cutting off the arms of inoculated children.


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