The Quiet American
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The Quiet American

120 min | USA:131 min (TCM Print)
Drama | Romance | Thriller | War
IMDB rate:
Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Country: USA
Release Date: 1958-02-08
Filming Locations: Saigon, Vietnam
Giorgia Moll
Giorgia Moll
The Quiet American
Audie Murphy
The American
Michael Redgrave
Thomas Fowler
Claude Dauphin
Inspector Vigot
Bruce Cabot
Bill Granger
Fred Sadoff
Phuong's Sister
Richard Loo
Mr. Heng
Peter Trent
Eliot Wilkins
Georges Bréhat
French Colonel
Clinton Anderson
Joe Morton
Yôko Tani
Rendezvous Hostess
Nguyen Long
Boy with Mask
C. Long Cuong
Boy in Watchtower
Tu An
Boy in Watchtower
Vo Doan Chau
Cao-Dai Commandant (uncredited)
Le Van Le
Cao-Dai Pope's Deputy (uncredited)
Sonia Moser
Yvette (uncredited)
Le Quynh
Masked Man (uncredited)
Did you know?
In Europe, director-writer Joseph L. Mankiewicz was savagely attacked for his film's infidelity to the source novel by Graham Greene, not least by Greene himself. The screenplay essentially turns the novel inside-out, so that the blundering "quiet American", whose extreme naiveté causes tragedy and his own death despite his having only the best of intentions, is transformed into a shrewd and heroic figure, far wiser and more honorable than his British rival. Mankiewicz later referred to the film as "very bad" (although he also liked to point out that Jean-Luc Godard had called it the best film of its year) and claimed that he had not been able to concentrate on the film because of the mental collapse of his wife, Rose Stradner, who committed suicide soon after he had finished it.
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In the novel, Fowler arranges the death of Pyle (called only The American in this film version) because of how Pyle is meddling in Vietnam's affairs and causing the deaths of innocent civilians by creating his "third force," an American-backed army to fight the Communists. The political climate at the time did not allow these elements to be shown in the 1958 film. Instead, the romantic rivalry between The American and Fowler for Phuong was played up and this was made the cause of Fowler's act. Moreover, a final scene was added in which we learn that Fowler has been hoodwinked by the Communists into destroying The American, who is, in reality, a noble man trying to bring hope and freedom to Indochina. Graham Greene was incensed by this change and denounced the film.
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Thomas Fowler: Do you got a cigarette?
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Thomas Fowler: [In the restaurant] I didn't know you were here.
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Thomas Fowler: [Narrating a flashback as the American dances with Phoung] He held her properly - not too close - the way you're supposed to hold another man's girl according to the rules.
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Photos from cast
Giorgia Moll
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