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The Quiet American (2002 film)

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Title: The Quiet American (2002 film)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Phillip Noyce, San Francisco Film Critics Circle Awards 2002, 2003 Bangkok International Film Festival, Robert Stanton (actor), San Francisco Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor
Collection: 2000S Drama Films, 2000S Thriller Films, 2002 Films, American Drama Films, American Films, American Political Thriller Films, British Films, Cold War Films, English-Language Films, Film Scores by Craig Armstrong (Composer), Films About Journalists, Films About War Correspondents, Films Based on British Novels, Films Based on Novels, Films Based on Works by Graham Greene, Films Directed by Phillip Noyce, Films Set in 1952, Films Set in the French Colonial Empire, Films Set in Vietnam, Films Shot in Vietnam, French Films, French-Language Films, German Films, Miramax Films, Political Thriller Films, Vietnam War Films
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

The Quiet American (2002 film)

The Quiet American
Directed by Phillip Noyce
Produced by Staffan Ahrenberg
William Horberg
Written by Christopher Hampton
Robert Schenkkan
Based on The Quiet American 
by Graham Greene
Starring Michael Caine
Brendan Fraser
Do Thi Hai Yen
Music by Craig Armstrong
Cinematography Christopher Doyle
Edited by John Scott
Distributed by Miramax Films
Release dates
  • September 9, 2002 (2002-09-09) (TIFF)
  • November 22, 2002 (2002-11-22) (United States)
  • May 22, 2003 (2003-05-22) (Germany)
Running time 101 minutes
Country Germany
United States
Language English
Budget $30 million
Box office $27,674,124

The Quiet American is a 2002 film adaptation of Graham Greene's bestselling novel of the same name. It was directed by Phillip Noyce and starred Michael Caine, Brendan Fraser, and Do Thi Hai Yen.

The 2002 version of The Quiet American, in contrast to the 1958 version, depicted Greene's original ending and treatment of the principal American character, Pyle. Like the novel, the film illustrates Pyle's moral culpability in arranging terrorist actions aimed at the French colonial government and the Viet Minh. Going beyond Greene's original work, the film used a montage ending with superimposed images of American soldiers from the intervening decades of the Vietnam War.

Miramax had paid $5.5 million for the rights to distribute the film in North America and some other territories,[1] and this film went on to gross US$12.9 million in limited theatrical release in the United States. Michael Caine was nominated for the Oscar as Best Actor.


  • Plot 1
  • Cast 2
  • Reception 3
  • Accolades 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


Set in 1952 in Saigon, Vietnam, toward the end of the French war against the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (1945-1954), on one level The Quiet American is a love story about the triangle that develops between Thomas Fowler, a British journalist in his fifties; a young American idealist, supposedly an aid worker, named Alden Pyle; and Phuong, a Vietnamese woman. On another level it is also about the growing American involvement that led to the full-scale American war in Vietnam.

Thomas Fowler (Michael Caine), who narrates the story, is involved in the war only as a reporter, an unengaged observer, apart from one crucial event. Pyle (Brendan Fraser), who represents America and its policies in Vietnam, is a CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) operative sent to steer the war according to America’s interests, and is passionately devoted to the ideas of York Harding, an American foreign policy theorist who said that what Vietnam needed was a "third force" to take the place of both the colonialists and the Vietnamese rebels and restore order. This supposedly anti-colonialist and anti-communist force was plainly meant to be America, and so Pyle sets about creating a "Third Force" against the Viet Minh by using a Vietnamese splinter group headed by corrupt militia leader General Thé (based on the actual Trinh Minh The). His arming of Thé's militia with American weaponry leads to a series of terrorist bombings in Saigon. These bombings, dishonestly blamed on the Communists in order to further American outrage, kill a number of innocent people, including women and children.

Meanwhile, Pyle has stolen Fowler's Vietnamese mistress Phuong (Do Thi Hai Yen), promising her marriage and security. When Fowler finds out about Pyle's involvement in the bombings, he takes one definitive action to seal all of their fates. He indirectly agrees to let his assistant, Hinh (Tzi Ma), and his Communist cohorts confront Pyle; when Pyle tries to flee, Hinh fatally stabs him. Phuong subsequently returns to Fowler, and while the local French police commander (Rade Šerbedžija) suspects Fowler's role in Pyle's murder, he has no evidence and does not pursue the matter.



The film earned positive reviews from critics, as it currently holds an 87% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 151 reviews.


Michael Caine was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor. The film was nominated for the Grand Prix of the Belgian Syndicate of Cinema Critics.

See also


  1. ^  

External links

  • Official website
  • The Quiet American at the Internet Movie Database
  • The Quiet American at AllMovie
  • The Quiet American at Rotten Tomatoes
  • The Quiet American at Box Office Mojo
  • "By the Bombs' Early Light" - essay by H. Bruce Franklin on the historical context of the novel and the 2002 film
  • is somehow anti-American"The Quiet American"Michael Caine Makes Noise: He dismisses claims that - Interview with film critic Joe Leydon on controversies surrounding the film
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