7.1/10
18,163
106 user 34 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 »

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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:
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, 23 January 1983

Gross USA:

$10,278,575

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$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

Average Shot Length = ~5.2 seconds. Median Shot Length = ~4.9 seconds. See more »

Goofs

In the sudden storm scene, when Guy and Jillian get into his car to get out of the rain. In the close reverse shot of Guy, water is clearly leaking heavily into the car through a crack in the door or window. But in the shot from behind the front seat of both the characters, there is no leak. 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

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

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Sense of place, sense of menace
14 December 2004 | by damien-16See all my reviews

I am a little amazed that, so far, only 40 comments have been entered. Fortunately most are of high quality, and all the important points related to the film are clearly highlighted. So, I will not repeat what has been well said by others. I want to explain one additional point, it has to do with my personal experience but might be interesting to mention.

I'm a professional expatriate, living overseas for 25 years. I'm not talking about an American in Paris or an Englishman in New York, I mean African steppes, tropical jungles, Indian slums. Living in a totally foreign country, in a totally strange culture, imperfectly understanding the local language, bewildered by alien logic, you experience a permanent sense of unease. You adapt, you learn to cope, you make what you hope are friends. But you never forget that you are a stranger in unknown territory, and that you are vulnerable.

You may peacefully walk on the street one minute, the next minute bullets are flying all around you. In the evening you have a pleasant drink with your neighbour, in the morning you are arrested, accused of being a foreign mercenary. When you travel inland you come at a road block, not knowing if they'll let you pass, or harass you for a couple of hours, or confiscate your car. As a foreigner in developing countries, you are constantly confronted with uncertainty, an intangible menace lurking around the corner.

I find that TYOLD transmits this sense of menace very poignantly. Many people have commented on its brilliant sense of place, the accurate depiction of Indonesia and the events that took place at the time. Others mention that you get a very real feeling of the tension and uncertainty journalists in times of upheaval are subjected to. But I would like to extend it beyond journalists. The sense of menace in TYOLD is eminently recognizable by all who have lived in countries where the police is not there to protect you, the laws are not there to make society more civilized, the hospitals are not there to cure you. In TYOLD, the menace is made visible because of the troubles that erupt, but usually you do not have to live through civil war when overseas. Still, the menace is not less real, and the sense of foreboding haunting every expatriate was very convincingly conveyed in the film.


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