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Label:
Name: TWILIGHT TIME
Number: TWILIGHT282-BR

THE QUIET AMERICAN (1958) (SPECIAL PROMOTION) (BLU-RAY)
Starring:  Michael Redgrave, Audie Murphy, Claude Dauphin, Richard Loo, Girgia Moll, Bruce Cabot, Kerima
Directed By:  Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Composed By:  Mario Nascimbene

“In his 1958 adaptation of Graham Greene’s The Quiet American, Joseph Mankiewicz…had a kind of perfect visual pitch, and the film is always spot on, always the right thing at the right time.”
– The New Yorker

“Excellent viewing…The realism and adult nature of the show are remarkable for 1958 and it was considered a thinking man’s film from the get-go.”
– Glenn Erickson, DVDtalk.com

Writer-director Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s adaptation of Graham Greene’s The Quiet American (1958) gives us a very early look at the burgeoning tragedy of Vietnam. It focuses on a jaded English journalist (Michael Redgrave), based in Saigon and more or less settled in with his Vietnamese mistress, Phuong (Giorgia Moll). Then an apparently idealistic young American aid worker (Audie Murphy) arrives, and all bets are off: when the jealous journo learns that the Yank may actually be a spy, he sets in motion a series of terrible events. Highlighted by a moody score from Mario Nascimbene.

LANGUAGE: English
VIDEO: 1080p High Definition / 1.66:1
AUDIO: English 1.0 DTS-HD MA
SUBTITLES: English SDH
1958 / B&W
122 MINUTES
NOT RATED

Special Features: Isolated Music Track with Some Effects / Original Theatrical Trailer

Limited Editions of 3,000 Units

  
Reviews and Comments: (1)
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Posted by Mark Turner on October 23, 2017 3:55 PM
While I’m familiar with the name Graham Greene I’ve never read one of his books. Of his works the only one I’ve ever seen was THE THIRD MAN for which he wrote the screenplay based on his own novella. So when I took to watching this movie I was interested to see what I’d make of it.

The story is more romance than spy story though it has elements of both. It takes place in the mid-fifties in Vietnam, a country poised on the brink of war and being tugged at both ends by different political factions. The tale is told through the eyes of British foreign correspondent Thomas Fowler (Michael Redgrave), a world weary reporter who’s seen it all and has little hope for peaceful solutions.

Fowler lives in an apartment with his companion Phuong (Giorgia Moll), a young Vietnamese girl who hopes to accompany him when he returns home. Fowler has told her that when he does so he will divorce his wife and the two of them will live together but the reality is that his wife, a devout Catholic, is unwilling to give him a divorce.

Into their lives enters Alden Pyle (Audie Murphy). Pyle is unnamed in the movie but named in the book. Pyle supposedly works for an import/export business in town but in reality is an agent of the CIA. Dedicated to his job and believing that there is a solution to the problems in the country, he befriends first Fowler to learn more and then becomes enamored with Phuong. While Fowler has no real intention of taking Phuong with him, he finds himself insanely jealous of the attention Pyle shows her.

Parts of this are interesting to watch as the two men discuss their intentions and Phuong not necessarily as a human being but as something they can barter over. Both have different beliefs about her, Fowler that she will just go along with the political climate offered here and Pyle that she can become an American with a sympathetic lifestyle. Her attitude towards it all is simple, she just wants to leave the country and go somewhere that has more opportunity. Eventually the romantic triangle must find a solution.

Just how far Fowler is willing to go to put an end to his potential rival becomes a big part of the third act of the film. Midway through the pair find themselves stuck in a watchtower and have time to discuss their differing political views. Ever the cynic Fowler finds Pyle to be naïve rather than informed. None of it bodes well for Pyle.

The film was supposed to be an anti-war piece but was twisted during production. Much of that revolved around the fact that this was during the blacklist period of Hollywood and the fear was it would be construed as a pro-Communist film. One thing it did so was predict the difficulties that would take place in Vietnam in years to follow. While a critical success it wasn’t a huge hit at the box office.

I think part of the reason for this was the structure of the film. It plays like a book and at times can be overly wordy. With little action to be found the movie crawls at a snail’s pace while we wait to see what happens. Murphy was a star by this time, a decorated WWII hero who was known to play in westerns. This was a change of pace and it may have confused movie goers at the time. Still it makes for an interesting look at a topic rarely covered this way when it comes to Vietnam.

Twilight Time provides the standard great looking picture with this release but few extras. All you will find here are an isolated music track with some effects and the theatrical trailer. But if interested make sure you pick one up before they’re gone as the standard 3,000 copies have been made for release.

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