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The Quiet American [DVD] [2002]

4.4 out of 5 stars 67 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Michael Caine, Brendan Fraser, Do Thi Hai Yen, Rade Serbedzija, Tzi Ma
  • Directors: Phillip Noyce
  • Writers: Christopher Hampton, Graham Greene, Robert Schenkkan
  • Producers: Anthony Minghella, Antonia Barnard, Chris Sievernich, Eyal Rimmon
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English, French, Vietnamese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Buena Vista Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 8 Sept. 2003
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000AE7CB
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 53,666 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

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...

From Amazon.co.uk

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

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I came to this film as a fan of both Graham Greene and Michael Caine. The screenplay is a very faithful adaptation of the novel, and the characterisation and settings are excellent. The Vietnamese scenery is stunning throughout, the mud-blasted hell of Phat Diem contrasting vividly with the polite finesse of French-Colonial Saigon. Caine dominates the picture with a mighty but human performance as Fowler, the journalist desperately trying to cling on to his relationship with young Vietnamese beauty Phuong (played by the lovely Do Thi Hai Yen). Into their world comes the quiet American, Aiden Pyle, played in a suitably underhand manner by a chubby Brendan Fraser.
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.
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Format: DVD
I know this will probably rile fans of Harry Palmer, Alfie Elkins and Charlie Croker (Caine’s 60s 'heroes’), not to mention aficionados of Sleuth and Hannah And Her Sisters (a role for which I felt he was miscast), but Philip Noyce’s 2002 part-romance, part-political thriller, based on Graham Greene’s novel and set in 1950s Vietnam, seems to be a part tailor-made for Michael Caine and he delivers in spades. Here, his 'restrained acting’ fits perfectly the role of expat, married Times journalist Thomas Fowler, whose relaxed 'colonial lifestyle’ and obsessive love for Do Thi Hai Yen’s ex-hostess, Phuong, is thrown into turmoil by his adopted country’s increasing political unrest and the arrival on the scene of Brendan Fraser’s (ostensible) American aid worker, Alden Pyle.

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).
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Format: VHS Tape
When I bought my ticket for this film in the cinema I immediately regretted buying it and nearly turned back to get a refund based on my pre-judged assumptions that this was to be a terrible film. The misleading trailers that created this image gave way for an immensely pleasant surprise as I watched the film.
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!!!
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Format: DVD
The quiet American in question is the corpse of an aid worker found floating in the Saigon river by the French authorities. The identity of the corpse is revealed early in the movie and the circumstances behind the murder is skillfully told in extended flashbacks by director Phillip Noyce in this excellent adaptation of Graham Greene’s deeply moral novel of the same name. It is the early 1950s and France is slowly losing control of its Indochinese colony of Vietnam to the Viet Minh independence movement. Into this political maelstrom arrives Alden Pyle, a polite and seemingly naïve medical aid worker whose covert mission is gradually revealed through a complex and absorbing narrative. He rapidly establishes a friendship with Thomas Fowler, an English reporter working for the London Times newspaper, a cynical, opium-smoking, world-weary, apolitical middle-aged hack whose only reason for living appears to be his relationship with a much younger Vietnamese lover, the beautiful and graceful Phuong. When Pyle becomes smitten with Phuong, her manipulative and protective older sister spies an opportunity and a ‘romantic love triangle’ ensues. Fearing that he might be recalled to London due to the paucity of his journalistic output (and therefore lose Phuong) Fowler decides to actively report on the escalating war and in doing so begins to discover anomalies in Pyle’s professed occupation and activities.

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.
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