6.7/10
1,462
25 user 22 critic

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.
Reviews

On TV

Airs Fri. Mar. 29, 12:15 AM on TCM

ON DISC

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Fugitive bank robber Joe Maybe steals the identity of a marshal and rides into a town whose judge asks Joe to act as town marshal but an old flame almost betrays his real identity forcing Joe to claim she's his wife.

Director: Jesse Hibbs
Stars: Audie Murphy, Gia Scala, Walter Matthau
Destry (1954)
Action | Adventure | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

In his desire to control a frontier town, ruthless town boss Decker appoints the town drunk as sheriff who, in return, hires gunfighter Destry as his deputy.

Director: George Marshall
Stars: Audie Murphy, Mari Blanchard, Lyle Bettger
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Outraged by Redleg atrocities, the James and Younger Brothers along with Kit Dalton join Quantrill's Raiders and find themselves participating in even worse war crimes.

Director: Ray Enright
Stars: Audie Murphy, Brian Donlevy, Marguerite Chapman
Certificate: Passed Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

AWOL marine Sgt. Jim O'Hearn is court-martialed for a variety of offenses that carry 143 years in the stockade or the death penalty but refuses to aid in his own defense.

Director: Arthur Lubin
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Virginia Mayo, Chuck Connors
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

When his father and brother are murdered by a corrupt lawyer and Sheriff duo, railroad surveyor Clay O'Mara plans his revenge, and is aided by former outlaw Whitey Kincade.

Director: Jesse Hibbs
Stars: Audie Murphy, Susan Cabot, Dan Duryea
Drama | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A beautiful woman with an ulterior motive hires two gunslingers to escort her through Indian territory so she can be reunited with her awaiting husband.

Director: Harry Keller
Stars: Audie Murphy, Dan Duryea, Joan O'Brien
Tumbleweed (1953)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

When a wagon train is wiped-out by the Yaqui Indians, the surviving guide Jim Harvey is accused of desertion and cowardice but Jim escapes the town jail in search of the truth.

Director: Nathan Juran
Stars: Audie Murphy, Lori Nelson, Chill Wills
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Mistaken for a murderous outlaw, an innocent passerby is forced to go on the run to try and clear his name by catching the real culprit.

Director: George Sherman
Stars: Audie Murphy, Felicia Farr, Stephen McNally
Sierra (1950)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Hiding in the mountains from the law, father and son break wild horses until a lost female lawyer joins them to help clear their name, but some would rather see them dead.

Director: Alfred E. Green
Stars: Wanda Hendrix, Audie Murphy, Burl Ives
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Banner Cole is a tough sheriff's deputy who forms a small posse to go after 4 death cell escapees who killed the sheriff , along with 3 other men, and kidnapped a woman with rape in mind.

Director: Herbert Coleman
Stars: Audie Murphy, John Saxon, Zohra Lampert
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

When Quantrill's (Quantrell) gang is almost destroyed two of the captured members agree to join the Arizona Rangers to help finish the job.

Director: William Witney
Stars: Audie Murphy, Michael Dante, Ben Cooper
Action | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Union Army deserter, Lt. Hewitt, trains a rag tag band of all-female homesteaders to defend themselves against a Comanche tribe on the warpath.

Director: George Marshall
Stars: Audie Murphy, Kathryn Grant, Hope Emerson
Edit

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 ... 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
Edit

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:

Where He Walked - All Hell Broke Loose! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | Thriller | War

Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »
Edit

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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Michael Redgrave and Michael Caine, the two actors who have portrayed the character of Thomas Fowler in theatrical feature film adaptations of Graham Greene's 1955 source novel of the same name, in The Quiet American (1958) and The Quiet American (2002) respectively, have both appeared in the same movie acting in one same film's cast, and that was the British war movie Battle of Britain (1969). See more »

Quotes

Thomas Fowler: [Sarcastically, surprised to see Vigot sitting inside his apartment] You don't seem to be recovering much damaging evidence.
Inspector Vigot: [while drinking a coke] There is nothing more dangerous than an American soft drink? Care for one?
See more »

Connections

References Fantasia (1940) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Comparing the 1958 version with the 2002 version
29 November 2016 | by kijiiSee all my reviews

I've now seen the two versions of this movie, based on this Graham Greene's novel. Though the 2002 version with Michael Cain and Brendan Fraser is supposed to be more faithful to Green's novel, I much prefer the story that is presented in this 1958 version. On TCM, Ben Mankiewicz said that, for marketing reasons, the story in this version (directed by his uncle) had to be toned down to make it less anti-American than the novel. He also said that Audie Murphy was probably chosen for the title role because he was a well-known actor-war hero (a Congressional Metal of Honor winner who played himself in the autobiographical war movie, To Hell and Back.) Though this wide-screen, black-and-white movie about two men in far-off place, called Vietnam, then failed at the box office, the locale of its story would come back to haunt us for decades to come.

Neither Audie Murphy nor Brendan Fraser stand out as actors that we tend to think of a 'top-notch.' But, ironically, the acting of the movie's title character doesn't need to be particularly great, just adequate. Both versions of this movie are more about THE MYSTERY of quiet American, Alden Pyle and what he is doing in Vietnam in 1952, than they are about the characters themselves. So, Audie Murphy (and Brendan Fraser in the 2002 version) only had to basically 'show up' in the movie to have the story work well. BUT FIRST, let's consider the plot of the 1958 movie, with cross-references to the actors that played the same characters in the boring 2002 version.

As the movie opens, the people of Saigon are in the streets celebrating the Chinese New Year (Tet) with parades of noise makers, masks, and paper dragons. During the celebration, a Vietnamese man discovers the body of a white man, lying face down in the river. The body is that of Alden Pyle (Audie Murphy)(Brendan Fraser in 2002 version). Police Inspector Vigot (Claude Dauphin)(Rade Serbedzija in 2002 version) calls in a British journalist, Thomas Fowler (Michael Redgrave)(Micheal Caine in 2002 version), to identify the body. Fowler is also questioned about HIS whereabouts at the time of the suspected murder. At this point, there is a flashback that takes Fowler's recollections back to when and how he first met Pyle and what their relationship had been like during their acquaintance...

Basically, they met since they were both white men working in an Asian country, and they tended to go to the same social clubs and restaurants to relax with other English-speaking people. When Pyle first meets Fowler, Fowler is accompanied by his live-in Vietnamese girlfriend, Phuong (Giorgia Moll—Do)(Thi Hai Yen in the 2002 version). While dancing with Phuong at one of the European clubs, Pyle is taken with her. When Pyle learns from Fowler that he is separated from his wife (who still lives in England and refuses to give him a divorce), he honorably tells Fowler that he wants to openly court Phuong. Fowler reluctantly offers to translate (English to French) Pyle's intentions to Phuong. Pyle tells Phunog that he loves her and wants to marry her and take her back to the US: he wants to offer her a future, away from Vietnam. This is something that Fowler—as a married man--can't do. But, Fowler deeply loves Phuong and wants to continue to life with her in Vietnam. The tension of the love triangle is heightened because Phunong's older sister is trying to look out for Phunong's future by hooking her up with the idealized 'rich American man from New York.' The fact that Pyle is neither rich nor from New York is only a minor problem for Phunong and her controlling sister. So, Phunong does leave Fowler for Pyle (respectfully living apart while courting).

As a journalist looking for a story to keep his job in Vietnam, Fowler travels to Hanoi in the North. There, there is a Communist offensive against the French. When he arrives in the embattled North, he is surprised to find Pyle there too. But, why would Pyle there when his business is plastics? What do plastics have to do with an offensive in the North? Pyle tells Fowler that he just came up to see him and see the action for himself, but why? As the two return home in a jeep, they breakdown on the road and are attacked by Communist forces. Pyle then saves Fowler's life, and they return safely to Saigon.

While Fowler is ready to believe the worst about Pyle's third force, a fellow British reporter puts him in contact with a Vietnamese friend. The friend leads him to think the worst about Pyle and his reason for being in Vietnam. (Plastics are used in toys but they are also use in explosives.) When circumstantial evidence confirms the Vietnamese contact's incriminating evidence against Pyle, Fowler's ideas only seem more solid. The final outcome of this movie reveals more about Fowler and Pyle, and it has a quirky twist to it.

In spite of what other reviewers and critics have said about THIS version of Green's novel, I find it far superior to the later, more true-to-the-novel 2002 version (with the 20-20 hindsight epilogue). To me, there is nothing, whatsoever, corny about the ending of this version. In fact, I think that it is very ingenious!! It weaves political intrigue and a murder mystery together and shows how even an objective investigative journalist can be duped when his own ego is involved.


6 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 25 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

IMDb Freedive: Watch Movies and TV Series for Free

Watch Hollywood hits and TV favorites for free with IMDb Freedive. Start streaming on IMDb and Fire TV devices today!

Start watching

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed