7.2/10
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98 user 32 critic

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.

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Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Popularity
4,540 ( 312)

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Billy Kwan
... Guy Hamilton
... Kumar
Domingo Landicho ... Hortono
Hermino De Guzman ... Immigration Officer
... Pete Curtis
Noel Ferrier ... Wally O'Sullivan
Paul Sonkkila ... Kevin Condon
Ali Nur ... Ali
Dominador Robridillo ... Betjak Man
Joel Agona ... Palace Guard
Mike Emperio ... Sukarno
Bernardo Nacilla ... Dwarf
... Colonel Henderson
... 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:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Release Date:

18 February 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El año que vivimos en peligro  »

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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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Mel Gibson has said of the threats to the film: "It wasn't really that bad. We got a lot of death threats to be sure, but I just assumed that when there are so many, it must mean nothing is really going to happen. I mean, if they meant to kill us, why send a note?" See more »

Goofs

The LE TIGRE t-shirts the reporters are wearing did not come until 1977 - they were not around in 1965. See more »

Quotes

Billy Kwan: Stalin had good Discipline. He killed 10 million.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Demon Queen (1987) See more »

Soundtracks

Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin On
By Curly Williams (uncredited) and Sunny David (uncredited)
Performed by Jerry Lee Lewis
Courtesy of Sun International Corporation
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
riveting, and this film is not aging
17 December 2000 | by See all my reviews

I just caught TYOLD again on PBS, not having seen it for perhaps ten years. Wonder of wonders, compared to many other films of the early '80s, this one is just as riveting as it was when I first saw it and doesn't look like it has aged a minute. In addition I am picking up many nuances of the film that I had never seen before.

What I know, and knew, about the tribulations of Indonesia in the 1960's is contained in the reels of this film. The subject matter is so far outside of the typical Western/American perspective that it is amazing that the film got made. Gibson is very good as Guy Hamilton, and his performance is much more lean and energetic than what he has done since - he hadn't had years of Hollywood gloss and Lethal Weapon familiarity to file down his performances into the predictable boxes they have become. Sigourney Weaver is elegant, although her English accent is never really convincing and sometimes disappears altogether. Linda Hunt's portrayal of Billy Kwan is astonishing and won her a well-deserved Oscar in an incredible gender-switching performance that was inspired casting.

One thing I never noticed before was how Billy placed each of the three main characters in their perspective as the Indonesian puppets he explains to Guy. Arjuna, the hero who can be fickle and selfish (Guy). The princess he will fall in love with (Weaver's character). And the dwarf, who carries the wisdom for Arjuna (Billy Kwan).

I haven't much more to say about this film aside from how much I admire it and recommend it to anyone who hasn't seen it. Beautifully shot, well paced, with good performances and about an interesting and important subject matter, it is well worth your time.


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