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The Ugly American (1963)

6.8
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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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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 Important 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

Referenced in Newhart: The Last Newhart (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

America the Beautiful
(uncredited)
Music by Samuel A. Ward and lyrics by Katharine Lee Bates
Heard when the Ambassador arrives and over the closing credits
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
An intelligently crafted and written movie...but not too exciting on a cinematic level
31 March 2010 | by (las vegas, nv) – See all my reviews

Marlon Brando gives a fair performance as the new American Ambassador elected to Sarkhan in Southeast Asia, which had been a peaceful, friendly nation fifteen years prior but is now being taken over by radical Communists distrustful of outside development. Adapted from the novel by William J. Lederer and Eugene Burdick, the dramatic, talkative picture (filmed mostly in Thailand) is a thoughtful rabble-rouser about conflicting political views. Brando's one native confidante in Sarkhan (wonderfully portrayed by Eiji Okada) admits to working both sides of the proverbial fence, which allows for a stimulating discussion of personal values in which common sense no longer comes into play. Although beautifully photographed by Clifford Stine, the results are literate and intriguing without being intrinsically exciting (at its core, the nature of the film is a tug-of-war, with the participants often engaged in a shouting match). Moving in fits and starts, one must sit through a great deal of pontificating before arriving at the conclusion, however the film's strongest scenes remain forceful and memorable. ** from ****


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