Saturday, February 10th at 5:30pm
Tuesday, February 13th at 6:00pm
THE QUIET AMERICAN
1958, JOSEPH L. MANKIEWICZ, USA, 120 MIN. WITH MICHAEL REDGRAVE, AUDIE MURPHY.
This astringent, atmospheric adaptation of Graham Greene's Cold War novel was the first American feature film to be shot on location in Vietnam. A cynical British journalist (Redgrave) grapples with a dangerously naïve American do-gooder (Murphy) in war-torn French Indochina, their ideological conflict complicated by sexual rivalry over a Vietnamese girl (whitewashed by the casting of Italian actress Giorgia Moll). Although writer-director Mankiewicz (reputedly coached by the CIA) controversially toned down Greene's critique of American imperialism, this is a stronger film than the 2002 remake with Michael Caine: more sharply written, more vividly dramatized, and notably tougher on the central character. Mankiewicz (A LETTER TO THREE WIVES, ALL ABOUT EVE) is one of the screen's all-time masters of voiceover narration, and the voiceover passages, beautifully intoned by Redgrave and accompanied by Mario Nascimbene's percussive score, are among the highlights of the film. Cahiers du Cinéma critics Jean-Luc Godard and Eric Rohmer both selected THE QUIET AMERICAN as the Best Film of 1958. 35mm. (MR)