Fugitive bank robber Joe Maybe steals the identity of a marshal and rides into a town whose judge asks Joe to act as town marshal but an old flame almost betrays his real identity forcing Joe to claim she's his wife.
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 Sir 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.Written by
Rita Richardson <RRichar790@aol.com>
I loved the Graham Greene novel. I admit I picked it up secretly from my father's library when I was 15. It stayed with me. I knew about the existence of this 1958 version written and directed by Joseph L Mankiewicz but I had never seen it until now, thank you TCM. I had seen the 2002 with a terrific Michael Caine but the film - a more faithful version of Greene's novel according to the critics and it may be true but the 2002 version left me pleased but unmoved while the 1958 version is much more unsettling, in spite of some hard to understand choices by the filmmakers. Audie Murphy plays the quiet American, and he is, very quiet. Good looking a real life American war hero but he is not an actor and here he is sharing the frame with Michael Redgrave. Michael Redgrave! The other oddity is the casting of Italian Actress Giorgia Moll as the Vietnamese girl-in-the-middle. She's lovely but I repeat, she's Italian. No, the power force here is Michael Redgrave, A marvelous, fearless performance and that alone makes The Quiet American an absolute must.
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