Combustible Celluloid
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With: Michael Caine, Brendan Fraser, Do Thi Hai Yen
Written by: Christopher Hampton, Robert Schenkkan, based on the novel by Graham Greene
Directed by: Phillip Noyce
MPAA Rating: R for images of violence and some language
Running Time: 101
Date: 09/09/2002

The Quiet American (2002)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

The Greene Mile

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Michael Caine won the San Francisco Film Critics Circle award for his understated performance as Thomas Fowler, a British reporter stationed in 1950s Vietnam. The American of the title is Alden Pyle (Brendan Fraser), who ostensibly wants to provide medical care for the locals but may have a darker agenda. Certainly he wants to steal Fowler's girl, the beautiful young Vietnamese woman Phuong (Do Thi Hai Yen), whom Fowler can't marry. Director Phillip Noyce landed a beautiful one-two punch with this and Rabbit-Proof Fence, two political films with politics in the background and delicate human storytelling in the foreground. Based on Graham Greene's 1955 novel.

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