Phillip Noyce’s adaptation of Graham Greene’s 1955 book “The Quiet American” into a film of the same name is a poignant, careful examination of a love triangle framed against the backdrop of a Vietnam attempting to liberate itself from the French.
Thomas Fowler (Michael Caine), a jaded journalist, fled both London and a disparate marriage to cover the Vietnamese attempts to usurp French colonial rule. Cynical and world weary, it takes a wire from London requesting Fowler’s return to England to get the craggy reporter working again.
It may be the Vietnamese scenery that has endeared itself to Fowler, but one woman in particular has captured his heart. Phuong (Do Thi Hai Yen) is a liberated dancer reliant on Fowler’s affections and finances.
When Alden Pyle (Brendan Fraser), a U.S. intelligence officer posturing as an economic aid worker, meets Phuong, he is smitten with her. The ensuing triangle between these characters is mirrored in the social climate of Vietnam.
Fowler is caught in a lie and Phuong gives into Pyle’s affections, abandoning the journalist in favor of the intelligence officer – an officer directly responsible for a third uprising in Vietnam.
Pyle is a na