Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr Viber
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
Download Ex Machina
Before the DVD release on 8th June
The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
Take a survey for the chance to win an iPad
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
15
Cast
Michael Caine
Brendan Fraser
Do Thi Hai Yen
Rade Serbedzija.
Directors
Phillip Noyce.
Screenwriters
Christopher Hampton
Robert Schenkkan.
Running Time
101 minutes

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
Accidental Love
1 Star Empire Rating
Wrecking Crew, The
4 Star Empire Rating
Queen And Country
4 Star Empire Rating
Longest Ride, The
3 Star Empire Rating
Look Of Silence
5 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Look Of Silence
5 Star Empire Rating
Mad Max: Fury Road
5 Star Empire Rating
Still Alice
5 Star Empire Rating
Les Miserables
5 Star Empire Rating
Duke Of Burgundy, The
5 Star Empire Rating

The Quiet American
Michael Caine and Brendan Fraser impress in this absorbing version of the Graham Greene novel about Vietnam in the 1950's


submit to reddit


Plot
After the murder of 'quiet American' Alden Pyle in 1950s Saigon, British newspaper man Thomas Fowler reminisces on their friendship, their rivalry over Fowler's Vietnamese mistress, and the tension between them when Pyle’s shadowy political connections come to the fore.


Review
Sliver, The Saint, The Bone Collector' even with a couple of Jack Ryan hits to his credit (Patriot Games, Clear And Present Danger), Phillip Noyce's career in the 1990s wasn't exactly a shining beacon in the Hollywood wilderness. And yet, here he is, delivering two very different, politically sensitive movies into UK cinemas in a single month.

While Rabbit-Proof Fence pricks the consciences of Noyce's fellow Australians by bringing a shameful episode in that country's history to light, The Quiet American raises questions about America's covert foreign policy in 1950s Vietnam.

The suggestion that the American government's meddling in Vietnamese politics - allegedly using the CIA to install a Washington-friendly military dictatorship - led indirectly to the Vietnam War is not one that's likely to go down well across the Atlantic in the current post-9/11, pre-Iraq Attack atmosphere. Hence Miramax's reluctance to give it more than a tiny US release in December to qualify it for Oscar consideration.

But Oscar nominations it richly deserves, not least for Michael Caine, whose performance as an English reporter goaded out of his comfortable, opium-clouded, ex-pat lifestyle ranks among the very best of his career. Caine brings dry wit and tragic self-knowledge to his character, while Brendan Fraser, as the love-struck Pyle, trades on his charismatic screen presence.

Actually, for the majority of the movie, the focus falls more on the love triangle than any anti-American political dimension. However, as in Graham Greene's source novel, this story element itself captures a sense of history passing the empirical baton from Britain (the rumpled Fowler) to America (the clean-cut Pyle). Noyce's film restores several of the essential qualities of Greene's book that were ironed out of Joseph L. Mankiewicz's 1958 adaptation.

Most impressive is the manner in which the director evokes time and place, both in the locations settings and through the characters' attitudes to a young Vietnamese girl they both want to 'protect' (read: 'possess').


Verdict
Politically topical, but Caine alone makes it worth seeing.


Reviewed by Alan Morrison

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

Your Reviews

Average user rating for The Quiet American
Empire Star Rating

Good Serious Film.

I have read the book by Graham Greene and thought it was very hard to understand but I could see much of it in my head of what the film takes. Then I saw the movie and yes, Vitenam looks beautiful but when you look closer at the battle area, it's a much harder and evil place. It's a very serious movie, you got to think of what's going on and if you slip once, you lost the plot. Yes, it's that bad. But the pefomances are brilliant from Michael Caine and Brendan Fraser, fighting against the war an... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by joanna likes films at 09:09, 13 August 2008 | Report This Post



CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Who Are The New Mutants?
Fox’s X-Men spin-off features a bunch of fresh faces. Here’s what you need to know...

Stoical Supermen: 10 Quiet Heroes That Get Stuff Done
Silent but deadly...

Ana Lily Amirpour On A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night
'There's nothing sexier than a vampire...'

Rick Baker: Creature By Creature
The make-up effects titan on his greatest creations

12 Of The Weirdest Things Jean-Claude Van Damme Has Done On Camera
Outside of his movies, that is...

Spooks: An Oral History
Cast and crew on the spy smash

Barbarians And Battletrucks: The Weird World Of Mad Max Knock-Offs
20 diversions along the Fury Road

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Empire print magazine

Delivered to your door – with exclusive subscriber only covers each month!

Subscribe and save 48%

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Empire digital magazine

Exclusive and enhanced content – get instant access via your iPad or Android device

Subscribe and save 48%

Subscribe now and save up to 69%
Print, Digital & Package options available Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire Digital Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  Digital Edition  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)