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The Quiet American (2002)

R  |   |  Drama, Mystery, Romance  |  7 March 2003 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 23,312 users   Metascore: 84/100
Reviews: 197 user | 148 critic | 39 from

An older British reporter vies with a young U.S. doctor for the affections of a beautiful Vietnamese woman.



(novel), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 13 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Inspector Vigot (as Rade Sherbedgia)
Joe Tunney
Quang Hai ...
General Thé
Mr. Muoi
Pham Thi Mai Hoa ...
Mathias Mlekuz ...
Kevin Tran ...
Watch Tower Soldier
Lap Phan ...
Watch Tower Soldier
Tim Bennett ...
American Photographer
Dancing American


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 Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


In war, the most powerful weapon is seduction.

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for images of violence and some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:


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Release Date:

7 March 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der stille Amerikaner  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$101,663 (USA) (22 November 2002)


$12,987,647 (USA) (1 August 2003)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The obscure poem quoted by Fowler and Pyle is 'Dipsychus" by Arthur Hugh Clough. See more »


(at around 28 mins) While Thomas Fowler is typing, we can see his articles printed in The Times; first article on Friday 7 May 1954 starts "After fifty-six days under siege a cease-fire..." Second article on Wednesday 21 July 1954 starts just the same, "After fifty-six days under siege a cease-fire..." See more »


[first lines]
Thomas Fowler: [voiceover] 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. ...
See more »


Featured in Anatomy of a Scene: The Quiet American (2002) See more »


Tieng Dan Ai
Written by Hoang Trong & Quoc Bao
Performed by Moc Lan
See more »

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User Reviews

A Powerful Triangle of Love in the Beginning of the American Intervention in Vietnam
21 December 2003 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

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")

48 of 59 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Why Isn't It Mentioned That This Was a Remake??? sh_karst
The Love Triangle - Pyle's Ridiculousness? boredlittleperson
Tired... fitzpatrick_ann
Question: Blood on pants leg... eamolsen
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