Very good movie, close to the book. Recommended for everyone, especially for the ones who have read the book. Very very pictorial and beautiful, creates the atmosphere and impressions you'd have if you read the original story. The cast is wonderful; the actors' play is excellent. Besides, actor playing Fowler is from London, actor playing Pyle is American, so they look close to what the author of the book wanted them to be. Pyle, however, could be less bully-looking, in my opinion; I imagined him to be somewhat lighter, but I quickly forgot about it as the movie went on. The movie is <more>
built on contrasts: the contrasts between main characters, the contrasts of Vietnam, even the contrast in accents I counted at least 5 different accents: British,American,french,strong/weak Chinese . Also, the movie is rather brief and is therefore quite dynamic, the time is not wasted in it. That's why it's only 3/2 hours long. This is the kind of movie that will not make you wait until it's finished. I highly recommend this movie for everyone with a taste for good movies.
Compelling, Powerful, and Beautiful (by Wulfstan10)
This is simply an outstanding film. The film does a great job at bringing the important themes, characters, and events of the book to film in an entertaining and gripping manner. It successfully portrays its powerful messages and examination of human character.The cinematography, directing, scenery, etc., are all first rate. The visuals are beautiful and, combined with the overall highly skillful and artistic use of camera work, details, voices, sounds, etc., perfectly convey the atmosphere of Vietnam and the issues facing the characters. It successfully draws the viewer in to the point of <more>
almost smelling and feeling what's happening.The screenplay keeps the momentum going, slowing down just enough, and beautifully building the atmosphere and tension.The acting is magnificent. Caine, as usual, puts in a great performance and this is probably one of the best of his career. It's rather hard to swallow that he could get an academy award for Cider House Rules but not for this movie! In fact, Caine has never been fully recognized for any of his greatest roles, but then I have little real faith in the whole academy award thing anyway. Fraser is, as usual in dramas, also wonderful. This highlights once more the irony that despite the fact that he is usual known for comedies some of his greatest work and roles are in top-notch, artistic, and pretty heavy-hitting dramas. He is perfect as the apparently helpful and naive, but sinister, scheming American aid worker and his appearance, demeanor, and skills wonderfully convey both aspects of this character.In the end, this is utterly successful, powerful, compelling drama that is beautiful, grips the viewer, and presents complex, rich, and convincing characters who evoke strong emotion.
The First Casualty of War is Always the Truth! (by liberalgems)
This is a tremendously powerful film, one that should be required as a part of any high school or college American history class curriculum. Conservatives will hate it too bad! and the rest of us will be moved, and deeply troubled, by it's many implications. You might even shed a tear or two, like I did.Graham Greene, who's book this movie is adapted from is one of my heroes. He was a household name in the 60's and early 70's. And, he deserves to be one again! Haven't we learned a thing from Viet Nam? Or, are we Americans all suffering from amnesia? Pentagon Papers <more>
anyone? Remember the notorious "Domino Theory?" If we don't save Vietnam from Communism the whole of Asia will go down the drain, and then those blasted Commies will someday be knocking at our door! Oh, the grand "Big Lie" strikes again in the 2000's! Why did so many of us believe our Federal government would "never" mislead the public on the reasons for the Iraq War? But here we go again, repeating history. We are such fools, it's truly amazing!
Phillip Noyce achieves a remarkable triumph in his version of The Quiet American by staying true the Graham Greene's text. Christopher Hampton's adaptation of the book never strays away from the basic premise of the story. This film in someone else's hands would have probably evolved into a war epic. Noyce and Hampton stay focused on the two main characters, who, after all, are the key to the story.It's hard to think Thomas Fowler was not tailor made for Michael Caine. He was born to play this part. His characterization of this troubled soul is remarkable. Mr. Caine gets the <more>
essence of Fowler without any effort, or so it seems. He is a jaded man who understands the Viet Nam before the American involvement. He knows he can't go home again to a loveless marriage, one in which he will not be able to escape after having experienced things he never would have thought possible in starchy old London. Brendan Fraser is an actor with a lot of experience in the theater, even though his choices in films leave a lot to be desired. As he proved with Gods and Monsters, he can hold his own against a great British actor such as Ian McKellen, or on an equal footing with Michael Caine in this film. His take on Alden Pyle is as vicious, devious and sly as Graham Greene made him out to be. Mr. Fraser gets under the skin of Pyle with such flair in the creation of this enigmatic man. The rest of the cast is not up to the two principals, but it's the confrontation between Fowler and Pyle what really makes this a tremendous acting feast.
A Powerful Triangle of Love in the Beginning of the American Intervention in Vietnam (by claudio_carvalho)
In Saigon, 1951, Thomas Fowler Michael Fowler is an English journalist, married in England with a catholic woman, and in love with a Vietnamese girl, Phuong Do Thi Hai Yen . Thomas meets Alden Pyle Brendan Fraser in a bar. Pyle is a doctor working in an aid mission, and pretty soon, he falls in love with Phuong. Pyle offers her what Thomas is not possible to give, i.e., a marriage and escape of Vietnam. Meanwhile, the political situation in Vietnam is boiling, with the French trying to get control again of the country, the communists trying to impose their system to the South, and the <more>
American secretly giving support to a third Vietnamese part. This romance is perfect: the outstanding performance of Michael Caine in the first plane, and Brendan Fraser in his best role, since 'Gods and Monsters' and Do Thi Hai Yen are fantastic. The screenplay of Christopher Hampton, based in a novel of Graham Greene, is wonderful. And the direction of Phillip Noyce is magnificent, presenting the story in right doses of romance, drama, action and special effects. An overwhelming movie for all tastes. My vote is nine.Title Brazil : "O Americano Quieto" "The Quiet American"
Caine, Fraser Excel In This 'Sleeper' (by ccthemovieman-1)
This is a well-acted beautifully-filmed movie that surprised me in good it was. It's one of those "sleepers," meaning a good movie that gets little notice.I found it interesting from the get-go with Michael Caine doing a superb job, one of the highlights of his distinguished career. Some have even called it his best performance. The same might be said of Brendan Fraser, too, someone who is more known for his lower-brow characters in far less-intelligent films. Those two and Do Thi Hai Yen complete the threesome who excel in the leads. The fact this film takes place in Vietnam <more>
and she is Vietnamese makes her all the more believable.The colors in this film are very pretty, interiors and exteriors. The only negative I had was the obvious political bias in here: Left Wing, of course, are there any Right Wing-slanted films? off the novel from the very Liberal Graham Greene. The movie paints an unflattering picture of the early days of America's involvement in Vietnam with Fraser playing "The Ugly American."Politics-aside, at least half the film is really a love story, as both male leads go after the same woman Hai Yen . That has a strange ending, is all I will say. All the way through the movie builds in suspense and intrigue in both the politics and the romance. I've seen it twice and thoroughly enjoyed it both times. It's a well-made movie and one that could be enjoyed many times.
Michael Caine - Intense, Brooding, Sympathetic, Questioning (by lawprof)
I don't understand why the studio satraps thought it necessary to embargo this film after 9/11, requiring persuasion on Michael Caine's part to get it to limited release now so as to qualify for Oscar nominations. The American role in Viet Nam is the subject of hundreds of books and countless articles - and not a few films. There is nothing unhealthy about the continuing debate and contrary to what some opine, I doubt American policy vis-a-vis Iraq has much lineal connection to the troubled saga of U.S. involvement in Indo-China, or its partial successor in hapless interest, the <more>
Republic of Viet Nam.The Graham Green story has been filmed before 1958 but this is a pungent, attention-grabbing version, filmed in various parts of Viet Nam. The sultry and grasping humidity of the land almost comes off the screen. The story takes place in 1952 as the inept and poorly led French stumble towards their ultimate debacle at Dien Bien Phu anyone interested in this story should start and finish with Bernard Fall's remarkable account of the French Army's Super-Alamo .Caine, a Brit named Fowler, assures Brendan Fraser, a putative U.S. humanitarian officer named Pyle, that he is a "reporter," not a "correspondent." The difference to the easy-living Fowler is that the latter has a viewpoint, perhaps even a cause, while the former, as Sergeant Friday would say, only wants the facts.This film really belongs to Caine and Fraser but one other character, the stunning Do Thi Hai Yep, Fowler's live-in girlfriend, deserves mention. She lights up the screen with both her calculating passion for, first, Fowler and then Pyle. Her character is realistically complex: I knew a number of such women when I was an Army officer and although the phrase isn't used here, she's a perfect example of the desperately ambitious, beautiful mistress whose only long-term goal is to be taken to "The Land of the Big P.X."A series of experiences transform both Fowler and Pyle. Several of the scenes of violence are real enough but the music is intrusive. You don't hear music when people are dying around you. At least not performed by an orchestra.This is the third recent film in which Michael Caine distinguishes himself by the depth of his acting the others being "The Cider House Rules" and "Last Orders" . Caine's Fowler leaves us wondering as to what his motives are as he slowly changes before us. There's no clear answer and room for argument. His Fowler is both disturbing and ingratiating.The audience in the East Village theater where I saw "The Quiet American" today clearly was made up of folks whose minds were settled as to U.S. involvement in Indo-China, never mind the later escalation in Viet Nam. Their grunts and laughs at certain points reflected their views. But the story told here is a faithful mirror of what in 1952 were complex questions in a scary world made scary by communism, not the liberal democracies. That mistakes of a grievous nature were made may be clear today but the road was ill-illuminated then. This film, and Caine's portrayal in particular, reflects the contemporary confusion and the unravelling of any hopes for a peaceful reunification of the two Viet Nams after the French defeat.I hope this film gets a very wide distribution after it finishes its two-week Oscar-qualifying run.8/10.
Light-years BETTER than the 1958 movie.... (by MartinHafer)
In 1958, Hollywood made Graham Greene's novel, "The Quiet American", into a movie. However, despite the title, the film had very, very little to do with Greene's book. His original story was about a CIA operative who came to French Indochina and naively thought that if the US backed a third force, one neither aligned with the Colonials or the Communists, then they could achieve peace and stability in the country. Greene's story is about his prediction that ultimately such a plan was doomed but instead of directly saying that, the story ultimately involved the operative, <more>
a British correspondent and a Vietnamese woman who both men loved. In the 1958 film, almost NONE of this was present and the message was completely reversed...that Vietnam NEEDED American involvement! The story was so changed and so corrupted that the film ended up being a total mess...and I hated it.Now with this 2002 version, Greene's original theme has been restored and the film is essentially the Greene story. Sure a few minor changes were made such as the ending but the overall story is something Greene would probably approve of if he was alive to see the picture.Instead of explaining the novel or the 2002 film, I'd like to concentrate on what I liked about the movie. Of course I appreciate that it is the original story. But I also really liked the acting, direction and music--all really looked good and make for a darned good tale. Overall, well worth seeing and despite Michael Caine being a bit too old for his part, a very good film.
THE QUIET American - Philip Noyce[FULL REVIEW - likely plot spoilers]'The Quiet American' is one of those rare films that, in a mostly unobtrusive way, actually makes you think about the morality of its characters and what they stand for.Based on a Graham Greene novel, the story set in 50's Vietnam homes in on the testy relationship between a Saigon-based London Times reporter Fowler Michael Caine , and the newly-arrived 'Quiet American' Pyle Brendan Fraser . Fowler's an unlikely protagonist - middle-aged and desperately trying to stay back in Vietnam with his opium <more>
pipe and his young mistress Phuong, he does his job with jaded resignation "I'm just a reporter. I offer no point of view, I take no action, I don't get involved." . In comes Pyle, fresh-faced, friendly and eager to play the kindly Yankee medical corps Samaritan. The two strike up a casual friendship but that soon runs into dark waters when Pyle falls in love with Phuong. He initially backs off in chivalry but returns on learning that Fowler will not actually marry Phuong since he can't get a divorce from his wife in London. Phuong's own wishes in this regard are ambiguous and seem more related to her own security than love for either of them. This tangle of emotions is played out against the backdrop of a strife-ridden Vietnam being similarly drawn between the French and the Vietcong. Fowler in a bid to keep his Saigon post goes into more dangerous territory, trying to dig up the dirt on a third faction in the battle. But he, like the audience, gets more than he bargained for in a devious turn of events that culminates in startling carnage.The story raises pertinent questions about the motives of America in Vietnam and the events that led to the invasion of Vietnam - It was shelved from its intended 2001 release in the wake of 9/11. But it's also a gripping noir drama that gives you fleshed out characters instead of stereotypes. There are no obvious heroes or villains, and the greatest strength of the film is its sustained sense of ambiguity, right up to the brilliant end, which leaves you wondering about who the bad guys really are.Kudos to Noyce and Michael Caine for setting a new standard in anti-heroes with their gritty, uncompromising portrayal of Fowler. Brendan Fraser, shorn of his trademark goofy mannerisms, does a surprisingly good understated turn as Pyle. The period atmosphere and Christopher Doyle's stylish cinematography easily capture the turmoil of the characters and the setting. If anything I'd have liked the film to be longer, with greater exploration of the very interesting characters it deals with: Pyle in particular seems to have got a bit of the short shrift in the latter half of the film, and a deeper look at Phuong wouldn't have hurt either. But as it is, it's still an excellent emotional thriller, which in most part respects the intelligence of its audience.