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The Ugly American (1963)

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An ambitious scholar becomes the ambassador of Sarkan, a southeast Asian country where civil war is brewing.

Director:

George Englund

Writers:

William J. Lederer (novel), Eugene Burdick (novel) | 2 more credits »
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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:
Marlon Brando ... Ambassador Harrison Carter MacWhite
Eiji Okada ... Deong
Sandra Church ... Marion MacWhite
Pat Hingle ... Homer Atkins
Arthur Hill ... Grainger
Jocelyn Brando ... Emma Atkins
Kukrit Pramoj Kukrit Pramoj ... Prime Minister Kwen Sai
Judson Pratt ... Joe Bing
Reiko Sato ... Rachani, Deong's Wife
George Shibata George Shibata ... Munsang
Judson Laire Judson Laire ... Senator Brenner
Philip Ober ... Ambassador Sears
Yee Tak Yip Yee Tak Yip ... Sawad, Deong's Assistant
Carl Benton Reid ... Senator at Confirmation Hearing
Simon Scott Simon Scott ... Johnson
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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:

The Most Important Adventure of Our Time! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 August 1963 (Mexico) See more »

Also Known As:

Der häßliche Amerikaner See more »

Filming Locations:

Bangkok, Thailand See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film's opening prologue reads, "We are grateful to the people and the tourist organization of Thailand where much of this picture was filmed. The events portrayed, while drawn from recent history, do not reflect the politics or history of Thailand." 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 Another Gay Movie (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Annie Laurie
(uncredited)
Music by Lady John Scott; poem by William Douglas (1672-1748)
Excerpt performed unaccompanied by Marlon Brando
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
now that the Vietnam War has happened...
3 August 2005 | by lee_eisenbergSee all my reviews

"The Ugly American" was released right before the Vietnam War started (depending on which stage of it), and now it seems more relevant than ever. Harrison MacWhite (Marlon Brando) becomes ambassador to the Southeast Asian nation of Sarkhan, which is on the verge of civil war between the Communists and the pro-US government. In Sarkhan, MacWhite begins to suspect that US intervention in this country might be prompting people to rebel. While he refuses to accept it, the situation becomes more and more tense, and MacWhite's officially neutral position becomes less and less sustainable.

You can't say for certain what the movie's political message is, but we might take MacWhite's speech at the end as a good reminder. Either way, this is one of the many movies that showed how great an actor Marlon Brando was.


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