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"The Quiet American" - what a gem !

Old 02-13-03, 08:52 PM
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"The Quiet American" - what a gem !

I'm amazed how nobody writes about this movie - it was definitely one of the best movies to come out last year (after such a long delay, too!)

Intelligent, thought-provoking, beautifully acted (Caine is definitely a great actor!), with a compelling, bitter story...

Why isn't this movie discussed? I guess people are too interested in "The Hours", "Adaptation" and the like... which are comfortable to pretend they have a higher meaning, while in fact they're simple exercises in self-importance. Is it the political subtext ?

Am I the only one who sees this as an undeservedly "overlooked" movie?
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Old 02-13-03, 09:36 PM
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Well, I'm not exactly sure how many people have had the opportunity to see it yet, that could be why. I live in Minneapolis and we usually get films, even the smaller ones, pretty early, and this just opened last week here. I want to see it and plan to get to it sometime this week, but I'm not sure everybody else is as lucky to have it actually playing in their area.
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Old 02-14-03, 12:48 AM
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Originally posted by badger1997
I live in Minneapolis and we usually get films, even the smaller ones, pretty early, and this just opened last week here.
It just opened last week here in Philadelphia too, so I think it has had a REALLY limited release up until now. Philadelphia is what ? the fourth largest city in the nation?
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Old 02-14-03, 08:51 AM
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And it just opened in Chicago last Friday.

I enjoyed the movie quite a lot. Michael Caine owns this film, but Fraser does a great job as well. Although I don't think Miramax should have been as timid about releasing this as they were. And I think they cut it as well for the American release. So I'm interested in director Noyce's version. And after seeing his fine Rabbit-Proof Fence, there were a couple moments in The Quiet American that could have resulted from the "Miramax touch." Who knows?

Still, it's a very good film.
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Old 02-14-03, 10:17 AM
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I'm interested in seeing this after having read the book for a class last semester. I'm a little nervous about Michael Caine's performance, even though eveyrone says he did a good job, simply because he gave an interview about the film in which he spouted a few lines about the movie/novel that were pseudo-intellectual at best.
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Old 02-14-03, 10:29 AM
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I will be seeing this movie, but from the looks of its trailer, it looked horrible, but with all the rave reviews, it got me intrigued.
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Old 02-14-03, 11:10 AM
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If you enjoyed "The Killing Fields", "The Year of Living Dangerously", "Biter Moon" or "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" you'll enjoy this one as well...

I believe both Caine and Fraser did excellent jobs in the movie. Some reviewers said Fraser is wooden, but they missed the point - that's precisely how the character is supposed to be.
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Old 02-24-03, 08:16 AM
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I loved the movie, not sure if i liked brendan frasier in it too much.. or probably it was just the character he was playing.. really got on my nerves....

anyways, great movie, micheal caine was amazing.
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Old 02-24-03, 01:42 PM
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I saw this yesterday. I had to make a bit of an effort (drive about an hour), but it was well worth it. I felt like unlike most movies, it didn't spell everything out for you, so you had something to think about afterwards.

Last edited by Ginwen; 02-24-03 at 01:50 PM.
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Old 02-25-03, 01:59 PM
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I loved this film! It totally had me mesmerized from the opening frame. If I wasn't too lazy to revise my Top 10 of 2002, it would be on there.
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Old 02-25-03, 08:39 PM
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I think that part of the reason that so few people are talking about it is because, despite very strong reviews and an Oscar nod, Miramax has pretty much buried this movie. Because of current events, they seem a bit afraid about the reaction that the film and its subject matter will get from moviegoers. The release date went through several changes, and now that it's out, it has been given a very limited release.

I finally read the book a few months ago (been on a Graham Greene kick), and I thought that it was brilliant. Unfortunately, I have not had a chance too see the film and I doubt that I will until it is released on DVD. The closest place it's playing is about a hour away from me, and I haven't been able to justify taking that long a trip just to see a movie.

For those who have also read the book, how close to the movie stick to it?

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Old 02-28-03, 08:58 PM
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I have avoided movies about Vietnam except The Killing Fields, Hearts and Minds, and The Quiet American. I was too young to serve, but old enough to remember growing up with this war and the impact it has had on this country. I know people who did not make it home and others who came home, but were never the same.

I took this afternoon off and went to see The Quiet American with a friend. Michael Caine gave an Oscar worthy performance and Brendan Frazier was excellent. As the final scene faded and the credits began to roll, I am not ashamed to say I cried on my friend’s shoulder.

I highly recommend The Quiet American.


Last edited by dvdanon; 02-28-03 at 10:09 PM.
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Old 02-28-03, 10:39 PM
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excellent beautiful movie highly recommened.
and beautifully written, i dont know if the credit should go to screen writers or Greene, but regardless, nad exceptionally delivered by Caine.

great performance by caine, very restrained and effective
and also an impressive performance by brendan fraser.

I just had one qualm, with one particular scene where

branden fraser is cleaning blood from his shoes after the blast, it seemed a little forced, driving the point home a little too much maybe. I don't know if thats how it's written in the book though.
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Old 03-03-03, 01:26 PM
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Saw it yesterday. A good film with a great performance by Michael Caine. I honestly feel this movie would have been somewhat of a hit had they given it a wide release back in the fall. Why was this delayed so much? Because
American inetervention in a local war can go awry?
Heaven forbid!
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Old 03-03-03, 04:12 PM
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Sad situation...

Well, in response to the issue concerning the limited theatrical release, I have to confess that I saw "The Quiet American" as a preview from kazaa.

I am not advocating file-sharing, but this is yet again one of the situations in which there's just too much debate (just like the Star Wars Original Trilogy DVDs) to be able to draw lines. If I like a movie, I will buy it - it's more important for me to enjoy it at home on DVD than in theatres, especially considering that the quality of the audience (and the prints) has taken a dive in recent years. And then, if you can't even see it in theatres, where else can you go?

Miramax has made such mistakes in the past as well - "The Quiet American" (which I will buy the second it appears on DVD) being just the latest victim. I remember I saw "Takedown" from Kazaa as well - where else could I have seen it? Should I have taken a trip to Europe, where it was released on DVD already?

It's a sad situation, when being in love with movies forces you to become entangled in arrangements like this...
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Old 03-03-03, 08:28 PM
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Originally posted by Gamblor187

For those who have also read the book, how close to the movie stick to it?


It is close to the spirit of the novel, but diverges in many small instances and a few large respects. The biggest changes I can recall involve his assistant (Dominguez is his name in the book, at least from what I remember). In the book he is an Indian gentleman who uses his connections to help Fowler. He points him towards people who show him how the United States may be involved with General The. In the movie he is a Vietnamese man who directly shows Fowler how the US are involved w/ explosives in Vietnam/funding General The. In the movie his assistant is also the one who actually kills Pyle. Other large changes: towards the end of the book Fowler gets a telegram from his wife granting him a divorce. In the movie, he stays on in Vietnam writing articles but is never given a divorce. Another change (at least in my mind) was in Phuong’s demeanor. In the book she seems very passive and just follows the path of least resistance. She does look out for herself, but is very reactive. When Pyle dies she immediately returns to Fowler, etc. In the movie she plays more of the typical exotic beauty – she is somewhat independent, plays and jokes with Fowler about his age, etc. The biggest example of this change is that in the film after Pyle’s death she does not return to Fowler immediately, he was to win her over again. Pyle is also much more manipulative and overtly OSS/CIA in the movie – he speaks Vietnamese fluently though he pretends not to, etc. Also, a lot of the narration is naturally changed. Though some of the book’s narration remains intact much is left out and a lot of the film’s narration is nowhere to be found in the book. This is, of course, necessary for the adaptation, but some great passages were left out. Other minor changes are scattered throughout – where Pyle catches up with Fowler in Phat Diem, etc.

I feel the book is brilliant, one of the best ever written. The film is different in many respects, but as I mentioned before is largely close in spirit to the novel. The locations are used exquisitely and Caine is superb. However, though competent, Fraser seemed to me to be the weak link in the film. That having been said, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie and strongly recommend it. It stands on its own as a very very good film.
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Old 03-11-03, 11:34 PM
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Michael Caine is on Leno tonight!
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