7.2/10
17,519
102 user 33 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.

Director:

Peter Weir

Writers:

David Williamson (screenplay), Peter Weir (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
4,866 ( 146)

Watch Now

With Prime Video

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

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Gallipoli (1981)
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Two Australian sprinters face the brutal realities of war when they are sent to fight in the Gallipoli campaign in Turkey during World War I.

Director: Peter Weir
Stars: Mel Gibson, Mark Lee, Bill Kerr
Adventure | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

An inventor spurns his city life to move his family into the jungles of Central America to make a utopia.

Director: Peter Weir
Stars: Harrison Ford, Helen Mirren, River Phoenix
Fearless (1993)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A man's personality is dramatically changed after surviving a major airline crash.

Director: Peter Weir
Stars: Jeff Bridges, Isabella Rossellini, Rosie Perez
The Last Wave (1977)
Drama | Fantasy | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A Sydney lawyer defends five Aborigines in a ritualized taboo murder and in the process learns disturbing things about himself and premonitions.

Director: Peter Weir
Stars: Richard Chamberlain, Olivia Hamnett, David Gulpilil
Green Card (1990)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A man wanting to stay in the US enters into a marriage of convenience, but it turns into more than that.

Director: Peter Weir
Stars: Gérard Depardieu, Andie MacDowell, Bebe Neuwirth
Mrs. Soffel (1984)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Peter Soffel is the stuffy warden of a remote American prison around the turn of the century. His wife, Kate, finds herself attracted to prisoner Ed Biddle. She abandons her husband and ... See full summary »

Director: Gillian Armstrong
Stars: Diane Keaton, Mel Gibson, Matthew Modine
The River (1984)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A farming family battles severe storms, a bank is threatening to repossess their farm, and there are other hard times in a battle to save and hold on to their farm.

Director: Mark Rydell
Stars: Mel Gibson, Sissy Spacek, Shane Bailey
Witness (1985)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A young Amish boy is sole witness to a murder; policeman John Book goes into hiding in Amish country to protect him until the trial.

Director: Peter Weir
Stars: Harrison Ford, Kelly McGillis, Lukas Haas
The Bounty (1984)
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Fed up with their captain's harsh discipline, a sailing ship's crew decides to take action.

Director: Roger Donaldson
Stars: Mel Gibson, Anthony Hopkins, Laurence Olivier
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

During a rural summer picnic, a few students and a teacher from an Australian girls' school vanish without a trace. Their absence frustrates and haunts the people left behind.

Director: Peter Weir
Stars: Rachel Roberts, Anne-Louise Lambert, Vivean Gray
Edit

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
Edit

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 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Australia | USA

Release Date:

18 February 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El año que vivimos en peligro See more »

Edit

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:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Filming was originally intended to take place in Jakarta. However, permission to shoot in Indonesia was denied, so the majority of the movie was filmed in the Philippines, in and around Manila. Note the presence of vehicles, such as the black Chevrolet, with left hand drive. Indonesians generally operate right hand drive. 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

Featured in The 75th Annual Academy Awards (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Excerpts of L'enfant
from "Opera Sauvage"
by Vangelis
by arrangement with Spheric B.V./Warner Bros.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Despite some weaknesses, a strong movie
16 July 2001 | by GeofbobSee all my reviews

Peter Weir's movie, set in Sukarno's Indonesia in 1965, can be seen as four films in one. The first is socio-political, focusing on the plight of the impoverished Indonesian people, the impending insurrection by the communist movement, and the bloody, chaotic aftermath of the coup. The second, coloured in Graham Greene-ish tones, has a cast of western journalists and diplomats failing to make sense of what's happening around them, and falling back on sex, drink and cynicism. The third - and most important in commercial-cinema terms - is a convincingly acted romance between rookie foreign correspondent Guy Hamilton (Mel Gibson) and British diplomat Jill Bryant (Sigourney Weaver), culminating in an unlikely and sentimental ending to the film.

But it is the fourth of these "sub-movies" which is the most intriguing; this concerns the diminutive and enigmatic Australian/Chinese photographer Billy Kwan, an astonishing - and Oscar winning - portrayal by actress Linda Hunt. Billy sees himself as a puppet-master, pulling the strings of friends and colleagues, particularly of Jill and Guy, whom he throws together. But his need to take control also motivates him to help local people, not through indirect and political means, but directly like an early Christian, and this apparently benign course leads to tragedy. Billy is the true heart and conscience of this film.

Weir is not entirely successful in weaving these strands together, and leaves a few gaps in both plot and characterisation. He is also occasionally guilty of melodrama (a fault which, in the movie, Jill warns Guy about), especially in the film's closing scenes - though certainly not where he shows communist sympathisers being shot, which is factual. On the whole, however, the movie works on both commercial and artistic levels, and should be seen.


36 of 39 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 102 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed