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British Thomas Fowler enjoys his life in Saigon working as a reporter for the London Times, covering the conflict in Vietnam between the colonial French powers and the communists, who seem to be winning the war. In the later stages of his career, he takes his job lightly now, filing stories only on occasion, and no longer doing field work. But most important, this posting allows him to escape from what he considers a dreary life in London--including an unsatisfying marriage to a Catholic woman, who will never grant him a divorce--which in turn allows him to have an affair with a young Vietnamese ex-taxi dancer named Phuong, whom he loves and would marry if he were able. Phuong's sister doesn't much like Fowler if only because Fowler cannot provide a stable future for her. His idyllic life is threatened when head office suggests he go back to London. In this way, he decides to write a major story to prove to his superiors that he should stay in Saigon. In 1952, Fowler is called into ... Written by
The US release of this movie was delayed for more than a year by the terrorist attacks on the USA of 11 September 2001. The producers were concerned that it would be seen as anti-American. See more »
Before the end titles, we are treated to headlines in The Times from the 1950s, over Fowler's byline. The variant "advisor" is seen instead of the more traditional "adviser", which was (and still is) prescribed by The Times' style guide - although "advisor" had occasionally appeared since at least 1833. See more »
I can't say what made me fall in love with Vietnam - that a woman's voice can drug you; that everything is so intense. The colors, the taste, even the rain. Nothing like the filthy rain in London. They say whatever you're looking for, you will find here. They say you come to Vietnam and you understand a lot in a few minutes, but the rest has got to be lived. The smell: that's the first thing that hits you, promising everything in exchange for your soul. And the heat. ...
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A Powerful Triangle of Love in the Beginning of the American Intervention in Vietnam
In Saigon, 1951, Thomas Fowler (Michael Fowler) is an English journalist, married in England with a catholic woman, and in love with a Vietnamese girl, Phuong (Do Thi Hai Yen). Thomas meets Alden Pyle (Brendan Fraser) in a bar. Pyle is a doctor working in an aid mission, and pretty soon, he falls in love with Phuong. Pyle offers her what Thomas is not possible to give, i.e., a marriage and escape of Vietnam. Meanwhile, the political situation in Vietnam is boiling, with the French trying to get control again of the country, the communists trying to impose their system to the South, and the American secretly giving support to a third Vietnamese part.
This romance is perfect: the outstanding performance of Michael Caine in the first plane, and Brendan Fraser (in his best role, since 'Gods and Monsters') and Do Thi Hai Yen are fantastic. The screenplay of Christopher Hampton, based in a novel of Graham Greene, is wonderful. And the direction of Phillip Noyce is magnificent, presenting the story in right doses of romance, drama, action and special effects. An overwhelming movie for all tastes. My vote is nine.
Title (Brazil): "O Americano Quieto" ("The Quiet American")
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