The Quiet American

Synopsis: In this adaptation of Graham Greene's prophetic novel about U.S. foreign policy failure in pre-war Indochina, Audie Murphy plays an innocent Young American opposite the older, cynical Brit Michael Redgrave. They play out their widely different views on the prospects struggle for the hearts and minds of the Vietnamese people in their competition over a young woman. Murphy wants to reform her and make her a typical middle class American housewife; Redgrave accepts her inability to formulate or retain a political ideal and while promising her no real future, he objects to Murphy's attempts to change her. It's not clear whether Murphy is just what he appears - a bungling Yankee do-gooder - or a deliberate agent of U.S. covert operations.
Production: United Artists
120 min


Do you know where he is?

He told me to wait here.

He would meet me

after he had dinner with you.

Yes, he was supposed to, but he didn't.

Perhaps he's still at the American legation.

I have been to the legation. No one is there.

Well, so many last minute things to do.

I understand you're both

leaving for America very soon.

Well, he can't be much longer.

Come upstairs and wait.

I can wait here.

There's nothing improper about it.

I'm sure he would approve.

I will wait here.

Of course, there's always the chance

that he might be at the river front

watching the American supplies unload.


Well, some of them might be his.

Now he's going home,

he'll want to make sure

that they fall into the right hands.

- What did you tell them?

- Where I shall be.

If he should return while I'm gone.

What's all the chatter and giggling about?

They think I have come back to you.

- Mr. Fowler?

- I'm Fowler.

My eyes are no longer young.

Can you identify her for me?

Mine are no younger than yours.

You know who it is.

They wouldn't let her come in with me.

There are those who complain

about being kept in,

and those who protest at being kept out.

In the search for justice,

one becomes depressed

at the unpopularity of the pursuant.

You can't have brought me here at 1 :00

in the morning to ease your depression.

How long have you been with her tonight?

I found her outside my flat a short time ago.

- She was waiting for someone.

- Who?

Why don't you ask her?

Where had she been before that?

I'm prepared to answer questions

only about myself.

I'm not an informant.

Uh, (CLEARS THROAT) at 6:00,

you had a drink at the Continental.

The waiters remember.

At 7:
30, you walked with a colleague.

The correspondent of The New York Times,

obviously a man of high character,

to the Majestic Hotel. He remembers.

Then you hired a cyclo-pousse.

The driver remembers.

And arrived at the Vieux Moulin

restaurant about 8:20.

You had dinner by yourself,

you left about a quarter to 10:00.

Several old ladies remember

that you arrived at your home about 10:00.

And that you did not come out

until after a short time ago.

Vigot, it's far too late

and I'm much too weary to play at charades.

What do you want?

-- Entrez.




At the restaurant,

you were impatient about the, uh,

waiter's slowness in bringing the bill.

- Yes, I had a 10:00 appointment at my flat.

- With whom?

That should be none of your business.

Sanctity of the press.

Well, of course.

You could withdraw my card of identity

and bar me from news conferences.

The country at war,

it is not easy to maintain legality, you know.

I do my best.

Well, at 10:
00, I was expecting

a young American at my flat.

He'd sent a message late in the afternoon.

He wants to see me

about something important.

Have you any idea what?

Everything is important

to this young American

but he didn't show up.


And, uh, when you found her

outside your flat,

she was waiting for the...

The same young American?

She's worried about him.

Is it true what one hears that they were,

how do you say,


and they were going to be married?

They are going to be married

as far as I know.


Yet, up to no more than a month ago,

forgive the indelicacy of a policeman,

the same young lady

was equally devoted to you.

That, I must insist, is none of your business.

For more than two years,

up to a month ago,

the deep mutual devotion of this

young lady and you was very well known.

Mr. Fowler, what do you know

about the young American?

Now please answer my questions.

Believe me, it is serious.

You know as much as I do. Probably more.

Nationality, American. Age, young.

Very young.


I've never clearly understood what it is.

One of those American groups,

there seem to be hundreds of them,

that stretch helping hands

around the world,

holding out packages of hope.

The name of his escapes me.

Friends for Free Asia.

Oh, very likely.

And he believed it literally.

He'd work at the profession of friendship

as if it were law or medicine.

He was a friendly young man, then?

Not one of those noisy, bellowing lads

at the Continental bar.

A quiet American.

Very quiet.

Un Amrican bien tranquille.

How did he die?

What makes you think he's dead?

A foolish policeman's question, Vigot.

For one thing,

you just spoke of him in the past tense.

He was found in the water.

Under the bridge to Dakow.

Did he die what's called a natural death?

Highly unnatural.

The Vieux Moulin restaurant

is right beside the bridge.

Are you sure I didn't slip out long enough

to have killed him?

I'm sure of that.

She didn't do it.

Come and see. She's waiting for him still.

Now one of my reasons to...

For asking you to come was to suggest that

the shock would be more gentle

if you were to tell her in private.

Away from the eye of a policeman.

That's human of you.

One has one's moments.

Mr. Fowler,

would you mind identifying him?

Uh, it's not very pleasant,

but it's a necessary function.

I would think you'd ask some

medical official to identify him properly.

Perhaps you're not as sure

as you say of my innocence.

Your methods are dramatic, Vigot,

but a little old-fashioned.

The medieval concept of the criminal

confronted by his crime will betray himself.

The stairs are badly lighted.

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Graham Greene

Henry Graham Greene (2 October 1904 – 3 April 1991), better known by his pen name Graham Greene, was an English novelist regarded by many as one of the greatest writers of the 20th century. Combining literary acclaim with widespread popularity, Greene acquired a reputation early in his lifetime as a major writer, both of serious Catholic novels, and of thrillers (or "entertainments" as he termed them). He was shortlisted, in 1966 and 1967, for the Nobel Prize for Literature. Through 67 years of writings, which included over 25 novels, he explored the ambivalent moral and political issues of the modern world, often through a Catholic perspective. Although Greene objected strongly to being described as a Roman Catholic novelist, rather than as a novelist who happened to be Catholic, Catholic religious themes are at the root of much of his writing, especially the four major Catholic novels: Brighton Rock, The Power and the Glory, The Heart of the Matter, and The End of the Affair; which are regarded as "the gold standard" of the Catholic novel. Several works, such as The Confidential Agent, The Quiet American, Our Man in Havana, The Human Factor, and his screenplay for The Third Man, also show Greene's avid interest in the workings and intrigues of international politics and espionage. Greene was born in Berkhamsted in Hertfordshire into a large, influential family that included the owners of the Greene King Brewery. He boarded at Berkhamsted School in Hertfordshire, where his father taught and became headmaster. Unhappy at the school, he attempted suicide several times. He went up to Balliol College, Oxford, to study history, where, while an undergraduate, he published his first work in 1925—a poorly received volume of poetry, Babbling April. After graduating, Greene worked first as a private tutor and then as a journalist – first on the Nottingham Journal and then as a sub-editor on The Times. He converted to Catholicism in 1926 after meeting his future wife, Vivien Dayrell-Browning. Later in life he took to calling himself a "Catholic agnostic". He published his first novel, The Man Within, in 1929; its favourable reception enabled him to work full-time as a novelist. He supplemented his novelist's income with freelance journalism, and book and film reviews. His 1937 film review of Wee Willie Winkie (for the British journal Night and Day), commented on the sexuality of the nine-year-old star, Shirley Temple. This provoked Twentieth Century Fox to sue, prompting Greene to live in Mexico until after the trial was over. While in Mexico, Greene developed the ideas for The Power and the Glory. Greene originally divided his fiction into two genres (which he described as "entertainments" and "novels"): thrillers—often with notable philosophic edges—such as The Ministry of Fear; and literary works—on which he thought his literary reputation would rest—such as The Power and the Glory. Greene had a history of depression, which had a profound effect on his writing and personal life. In a letter to his wife, Vivien, he told her that he had "a character profoundly antagonistic to ordinary domestic life," and that "unfortunately, the disease is also one's material." William Golding described Greene as "the ultimate chronicler of twentieth-century man's consciousness and anxiety." He died in 1991, at age 86, of leukaemia, and was buried in Corseaux cemetery. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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