6.0/10
126
3 user 1 critic

Saigon -Year of the Cat- (1983)

Two Westerners, Barbara, bank employee, and Bob, C.I.A. analyst within the U.S. Embassy, meet a short time before the fall of Saigon.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Barbara Dean
Chic Murray ... Mr. Haliwell
Yim Hoontrakul ... Trinh
Pichit Bulkul ... Quoc
... Donald Henderson
... Frank Judd
Rong Wongsawan ... Foreign Minister
... Colonel Fielder
... Bob Chesneau
Somsak Seangwilai ... Phu
Vitoon Winwitoon ... Phu's Friend (as Vitoon Win Vitoon)
... Jack Ockham
Thomasine Heiner ... Joan Mackintosh
Gerry Bammem ... Ted Malouf
Deborah Eisenberg ... Debbie
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Storyline

By the end of 1974 the Americans have withdrawn their troops from Saigon and President Thieu is on the verge of packing up his bags as well. The U.S. presence is reduced to a handful of advisers, among whom the CIA members. It is against this surreal backdrop that Bob Chesneau, a CIA officer, and Barbara Dean, a bank executive, are having an affair... Written by Guy Bellinger

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Plot Keywords:

vietnam | See All (1) »

Genres:

Drama

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Release Date:

29 November 1983 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Saigon  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

First of two collaborations of Dame Judi Dench and David Hare. The other being Wetherby (1985). See more »

Connections

Featured in Great Adaptations: 50 Movie Mega Pack (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Que Reste-t-il de nos Amours ?
Music by Charles Trenet
Lyrics by Charles Trenet
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User Reviews

 
Solid Telemovie about an uncomfortable subject
3 May 2005 | by See all my reviews

Judy Dench plays a secretive English lady who observes the chaos of the final days of democratic government in Saigon. The subject matter is uncomfortable to watch; perhaps more so today than when the film was released, as parallels can be drawn between Vietnam and Iraq. The films begs the question: Has the US and it's allies learned anything in 30 years about international relations.

As a film Saigon is solid more so due to the subject matter being strong than the direction and script, which are pretty bland. The story moves at a decent pace and the climax is both powerful and pathetic as bewildered and semi drunk characters are suddenly forced from apathetic complacency to action.

One of the central problems with the film is that it doesn't feel like it has a strong emotional soul. Judy's character feels too detached to her surroundings, and life in general. She's a woman of mysterious yes, but there isn't any real attempt to dig beneath her cool exterior. I also felt like I didn't get a true inside account of what actually happened in the lead up to that fateful day in 1975. I needed more information about what was happening at the time politically and socially to both the Vietnamese and the Americans in and around Saigon.

It's a story that should be re-made with better production values, but it held my interest throughout. 6/10


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