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The Quiet American [DVD] 
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Phillip Noyce's adaptation of the novel by Graham Greene (also adapted in 1958 by Joseph L. Mankiewicz) was initially due for release in 2001 but held back after the events of 9/11, due to its critical view of the US role in Vietnam during the 1950s. British journalist Thomas Fowler (Michael Caine), who is covering the initial events that led to the Indo-China war in 1952, comes under suspicion of murder when the body of a young American, Alden Pyle (Brendan Fraser), is found floating in the river. Their story is told in flashback, as the American arrives in Vietnam, apparently to provide medical aid in the war. However, Pyle is not who he first appears to be...
An impressive film from director Philip Noyce, The Quiet American proves that elegant and intelligent film-making can be emotionally powerful. Michael Caine plays Thomas Fowler, a British journalist in 1950s Vietnam with a lovely Vietnamese mistress named Phuong (Do Thi Hai Yen) and a jaded view of the political strife teeming around him. He befriends a seemingly innocuous American named Alden Pyle (Brendan Fraser), who falls in love with Phuong--and slowly, Pyle's real purpose in Vietnam becomes revealed. Fowler finds that, to hold on to the carefully balanced life he's created for himself, he must make choices he's long avoided. Caine and Fraser are both superb and give a human face to complicated politics; as a result, The Quiet American manages to be compelling as both history and a story about very specific people embroiled in a very personal conflict. --Bret Fetzer
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Top Customer Reviews
The film is well-paced and the "action" sequences are very well done, particularly the infamous bombing in the square which is recreated with frightening realism. I found it all totally gripping, even though I knew the plot and the outcome. The scenes between Caine and Fraser show these two at their very best, Caine surely at yet another high in his career.
In terms of extras, you don't get much - just a documentary on the filming of the bomb sequence, which is interesting. But I often feel there is too much emphasis on DVD extras anyway - in this case the film itself is more than enough and one that will repay many viewings.
What is (for me, at least) most remarkable about Noyce’s film (fuelled by Christopher Hampton and Robert Schenkkan’s screenplay) is the way it seamlessly melds its romantic and political elements and delivers equally effectively on both fronts (a rare feat, I feel, and, in this respect, reminding me – oddly enough – of Casablanca!). Noyce sets up the 'post-colonial’ milieu for the film very evocatively – ably assisted by Christopher Doyle’s (for him) relatively unflashy cinematography – as drunken, racist, sexist expats drink in the bars and clubs, Vietnamese women look for ways out (i.e. marriage to a foreigner) and shady characters lurk in the background (including Pyle’s ‘friend’, Robert Stanton’s Joe Tunney).Read more ›
Set in Vietnam, the story follows Michael Cane as a journalist, living with his Vietnamese mistress, reporting on events during the war. A friendship with Brandon Fraser, leads to an unravelling plot of conspiring events in Vietnam based around this friendship, and the test of friendship when a woman is added into the equation.
The films excellent story proves to be a film that keeps the watcher constantly thinking, suspicious of all characters and in a changing mindset of what will unravel next.
An excellent film, well worth watching!!!
The Quiet American succeeds both as a romantic and political drama due to an intelligent screenplay, supported by exceptional cinematography and a luscious film score as they combine to project a unique place and time.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It was so good that i can't remember the film very well. I don't think it was that great, I probably need to watch it again.Published 2 months ago by E. Junoy
an interesting reminder of the build-up to the Vietnam War- life on the "Continental shelf". full of moral dilemmas.Published 4 months ago by idwal
Didn't show as much of Vietnam itself or the conflict as I had hoped nevertheless a good watch.Published 4 months ago by kabarole
A tense story of betrayal set in Vietnam at the time the French were leaving and the Americans were slowly taking over. Read morePublished 4 months ago by C. Payne
This film is beautifully filmed and has some excellent actors in it. The film transports you to the middle east - a tender love storyPublished 6 months ago by Katie