7.2/10
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The Year of Living Dangerously (1982)

A young Australian reporter tries to navigate the political turmoil of Indonesia during the rule of President Sukarno with the help of a diminutive photographer.

Director:

Peter Weir

Writers:

David Williamson (screenplay), Peter Weir (screenplay) | 2 more credits »

On TV

Airs Thu. Mar. 28, 10:00 PM on TCM

ON DISC
Won 1 Oscar. Another 7 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Linda Hunt ... Billy Kwan
Mel Gibson ... Guy Hamilton
Bembol Roco ... Kumar
Domingo Landicho Domingo Landicho ... Hortono
Hermino De Guzman Hermino De Guzman ... Immigration Officer
Michael Murphy ... Pete Curtis
Noel Ferrier Noel Ferrier ... Wally O'Sullivan
Paul Sonkkila Paul Sonkkila ... Kevin Condon
Ali Nur Ali Nur ... Ali
Dominador Robridillo Dominador Robridillo ... Betjak Man
Joel Agona Joel Agona ... Palace Guard
Mike Emperio Mike Emperio ... Sukarno
Bernardo Nacilla Bernardo Nacilla ... Dwarf
Bill Kerr ... Colonel Henderson
Sigourney Weaver ... Jill Bryant
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Storyline

Guy Hamilton is a journalist on his first job as a foreign correspondent. His apparently humdrum assignment to Indonesia soon turns hot as President Sukarno electrifies the populace and frightens foreign powers. Guy soon is the hottest reporter on the story with the help of his photographer, half- Chinese dwarf Billy Kwan, who has gone native. Guy's affair with diplomat Jill Bryant also helps. Eventually Guy must face some major moral choices and the relationship between Billy and him reaches a crisis at the same time the politics of Indonesia does. Written by Reid Gagle

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Mel Gibson . . . Living Dangerously See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Australia | USA

Release Date:

18 February 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El año que vivimos en peligro See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$13,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$35,000, 21 January 1983, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$10,278,575
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After Gallipoli (1981), this is the second and final film that Peter Weir and David Williamson made together. See more »

Goofs

As Guy is arriving in Jakarta Billy Kwan's VO tells us it is June 25th, 1965, but the copy of Time Magazine Guy is clutching as he passes through immigration is actually the July 30th, 1965 issue with the famous Marc Chagall self portrait cover. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Billy Kwan: June 25th, 1965. Dossier H-10. Hamilton, Guy. Born 1936 under the sign of Capricorn. Occupation: Journalist with the Australian Broadcasting Service. Jakarta: first assignment as foreign correspondent.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Space Children (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Ain't That Lovin' You Baby
By Jimmy Reed (uncredited)
Performed by Jimmy Reed
Courtesy of Vee-Jay International Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Politics, Mysticism and Romance
25 November 2003 | by ProfessorFateSee all my reviews

In "The Year of Living Dangerously" director Peter Weir attempts much and accomplishes most of his goals. It's a socio-political essay on the dangers of Western meddling in Third World countries. It's a fascinating view into the challenges of journalism in a volatile foreign country. It's a steamy romance involving two beautiful, intelligent characters. It's a distinctly Far Eastern morality play that seems to delight in yin/yang paradoxes. Plus it's one of the best films at evoking the mood, texture, and sensuality of life in Southeast Asia. Don't be too harsh on Weir for the lapses in historic accuracy and plotting, because it's a complicated, busy landscape he is painting here. The best things about the film are:

-Linda Hunt's amazing performance. Unlike other gender-bending performances (Julie Andrews in "Victor/Victoria", Dustin Hoffman in "Tootsie") you never once give any thought to the fact that this is a woman playing a man. It's a seamless transition and a performance of immense heart and honesty. The image of a distraught Billy pounding at his typewriter, pleading "What then must we do?" while an aria swells around him and the eyes of Jakarta's poor stare at him from his own photographs, is an incredibly moving scene.

-The atmosphere created by the combination of Russell Boyd's cinematography and Maurice Jarre's score. Take a look at the scene with Weaver walking through the streets of Jakarta in a tropical downpour. The effect is breathtaking.

-The chemistry between Gibson and Weaver. You can feel the heat between them. Unlike other posters here, I believe their romance is one of the film's strong points.

I agree that the ending is a bit of a letdown, but it doesn't diminish Weir's accomplishments. "The Year of Living Dangerously" is a startling unique film, and certainly one his best.


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