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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Deong
...
Marion MacWhite
...
Homer Atkins
...
Grainger
...
Emma Atkins
Kukrit Pramoj ...
Prime Minister Kwen Sai
...
Joe Bing
...
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
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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:

HIS MOST POWERFUL ROLE! [ Marlon Brando ] See more »


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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

2 April 1963 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der häßliche Amerikaner  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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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 »

Goofs

As it is landing, the TWA plane is a Convair 880. When it arrives at the gate for deplaning, it has turned into a Boeing 707. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Team America: World Police (2004) 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
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Viet Nam 1963
18 April 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I was in Viet Nam from June 1963 to March 1964. We saw "The Ugly American" at the American movie theatre in Saigon, the Capitol Kinh Do.

There were many Americans and their dependents in Saigon and in Viet Nam at this time--most were isolated with cocktail parties, teas, and American activities. Most American children went to the American Community School outside of Tan Son Nhut Air Base. Their parents belonged to the exclusive Cercle Sportiff, hobnobbing with the Vietnamese elite who monetarily benefited from the war. There were opportunities for American civilians to teach the Vietnamese English, but I never knew of any opportunities for Americans to learn Vietnamese or national customs.

Many of the children of the diplomatic corps were instructed that if their shirt tails hung out or if they ate with their fingers when eating implements were available, they would be considered "ugly Americans." Nothing was said about the teenage boys drinking, whoring, and racing their motorcycles through the darkened Saigon streets in the early morning hours. Nothing was said about how we knew the way to "win" the war against the popular nationalist freedom fighter known as Ho Chi Minh who organized the successful campaigns against the Japanese and French occupiers.

Perhaps if we had listened a little more, learned the language and customs, and understood that the desire for national freedom is not communism, we wouldn't still be trying to "win" the Vietnam War.


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