6.7/10
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The Quiet American (1958)

A young naive American and a cynical older British diplomat disagree over politics in 1952 Vietnam and over a beautiful young native girl.
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Audie Murphy ... The American
Michael Redgrave ... Thomas Fowler
Claude Dauphin ... Inspector Vigot
Giorgia Moll ... Phuong
Bruce Cabot ... Bill Granger
Fred Sadoff Fred Sadoff ... Dominguez
Kerima ... Phuong's Sister
Richard Loo ... Mr. Heng
Peter Trent Peter Trent ... Eliot Wilkins
Georges Bréhat Georges Bréhat ... French Colonel (as Georges Brehat)
Clinton Anderson ... Joe Morton
Yôko Tani ... Rendezvous Hostess
Nguyen Long Nguyen Long ... Boy with Mask
C. Long Cuong C. Long Cuong ... Boy in Watchtower
Tu An Tu An ... Boy in Watchtower
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Storyline

In this adaptation of Graham Greene's prophetic novel about U.S. foreign policy failure in pre-war Indochina, Audie Murphy plays an innocent Young American opposite the older, cynical Brit Michael Redgrave. They play out their widely different views on the prospects struggle for the hearts and minds of the Vietnamese people in their competition over a young woman. Murphy wants to reform her and make her a typical middle class American housewife; Redgrave accepts her inability to formulate or retain a political ideal and while promising her no real future, he objects to Murphy's attempts to change her. It's not clear whether Murphy is just what he appears - a bungling Yankee do-gooder - or a deliberate agent of U.S. covert operations. Written by Rita Richardson <RRichar790@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

This is the Orient Few Eyes Have Seen - This is Suspense Few Motion Pictures Have Captured! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | Thriller | War

Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French | Vietnamese

Release Date:

8 February 1958 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El americano tranquilo See more »

Filming Locations:

Saigon, Vietnam See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Figaro See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TCM Print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The character of "The American", played by Audie Murphy, is not known by his personal name of Alden Pyle, as he is in this film's source Graham Greene novel of "The Quiet American" (1955), and this movie's remake, The Quiet American (2002), where the character is portrayed by actor Brendan Fraser. See more »

Quotes

Thomas Fowler: You'd have made a good priest, Vigot. What is there about you that would make it so easy to confess... if there were anything to confess?
Inspector Vigot: [Keenly] You mix for yourself a drink, but you're not drinking it.
Thomas Fowler: It might be unwise. There are no secrets of the confessional in your profession.
Inspector Vigot: Secrecy is seldom important to a man who confesses. He has other motives.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Simpsons: Smart & Smarter (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

La Cathédrale engloutie
(uncredited)
Composed by Claude Debussy
See more »

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User Reviews

 
He's in plastics
6 January 2009 | by bob998See all my reviews

The Quiet American is not one of the greatest Greene books, coming after the successes of the Thirties and Forties, but it is a very entertaining read. Joe Mankiewicz made a great adaptation to the screen with superb actors. I will take Michael Redgrave, Giorgia Moll and Claude Dauphin over Michael Caine, Do Thi Hai Yen and Rade Serbedzija in the 2002 version any day, and as for Audie Murphy--sure he's no Hamlet, but his dogged determination and easy Southern charm impress me more than Brendan Fraser in the role of Pyle, that dangerously quiet American.

I was pleased by the way the story unfolded, the political themes were well worked out, and the Cao Dai scenes were very good. Don't forget that in 1956 the city scapes of Saigon and the countryside still had not been modernized; you are seeing the real thing. The pairing of Redgrave and Dauphin is as entertaining as that of Bogart and Rains in Casablanca: is there any higher praise?


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