6.7/10
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The Ugly American (1963)

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An ambitious scholar becomes the ambassador of Sarkan, a southeast Asian country where civil war is brewing.

Director:

George Englund

Writers:

William J. Lederer (novel), Eugene Burdick (novel) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Marlon Brando ... Ambassador Harrison Carter MacWhite
Eiji Okada ... Deong
Sandra Church ... Marion MacWhite
Pat Hingle ... Homer Atkins
Arthur Hill ... Grainger
Jocelyn Brando ... Emma Atkins
Kukrit Pramoj Kukrit Pramoj ... Prime Minister Kwen Sai
Judson Pratt ... Joe Bing
Reiko Sato ... Rachani, Deong's Wife
George Shibata George Shibata ... Munsang
Judson Laire Judson Laire ... Senator Brenner
Philip Ober ... Ambassador Sears
Yee Tak Yip Yee Tak Yip ... Sawad, Deong's Assistant
Carl Benton Reid ... Senator at Confirmation Hearing
Simon Scott Simon Scott ... Johnson
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Storyline

An intelligent, articulate scholar, Harrison MacWhite, survives a hostile Senate confirmation hearing at the hands of conservatives to become ambassador to Sarkan, a southeast Asian country where civil war threatens a tense peace. Despite his knowledge, once he's there, MacWhite sees only a dichotomy between the U.S. and Communism. He can't accept that anti-American sentiment might be a longing for self-determination and nationalism. So, he breaks from his friend Deong, a local opposition leader, ignores a foreman's advice about slowing the building of a road, and tries to muscle ahead. What price must the country and his friends pay for him to get some sense? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The most explosive adventure of our time! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 August 1963 (Mexico) See more »

Also Known As:

Der häßliche Amerikaner See more »

Filming Locations:

Bangkok, Thailand See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One key role, that of the Sarkhanese Prime Minister, was filled quite capably by a non-professional, Kukrit Pramoj, a prominent Thai newspaper publisher, former Thai Finance Minister, and, as fate would have it, future Prime Minister (1975-76). Speaking in Bangkok the day after its world premiere, the film's star, Marlon Brando, brought forth gasps by labeling his precocious co-star a "dissembler, liar and thief." Before shock could turn to indignation, Brando, straight face intact, quickly broke the stunned silence. "Mr. Kukrit told me he couldn't act, and then proceeded to prove he could act and, in fact, acted me off the screen. He stole the whole show." See more »

Goofs

As it is landing, the TWA plane is a Convair 880. When it arrives at the gate for deplaning, it has turned into a Boeing 707. See more »

Quotes

Ambassador Harrison Carter MacWhite: I'd like to interrupt, eh, gentlemen, to point out that the only thing that is clear so far is that there's no clarity at all. So if you don't mind, we'll stop this squabbling and I'll present you with some facts. About three hours ago, there were several people trampled to death, a policeman was pistol-whipped until his face looked like raspberry jam, and the man who represents the person of the president of United States was almost killed, along with his wife, and other members of his party. ...
See more »

Connections

Featured in Brando (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

America the Beautiful
(uncredited)
Music by Samuel A. Ward and lyrics by Katharine Lee Bates
Heard when the Ambassador arrives and over the closing credits
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
thought-provoking
23 April 2006 | by linga_04See all my reviews

This film came out in 1963, just when the Kennedy/Johnson administration started to escalate the war in Vietnam. I am terribly dismayed and disappointed that the U.S government learned nothing from this movie.

In the first place, it is utterly and unrealistic to muddle into the political affairs of a country with very different culture and political background. Secondly, while we in the western world deplore communism, it is very silly and idiotic to treat it as a contagious disease, to be repelled and avoided at all costs. With our wealth, freedom of expression and using an open-door policy, we can show the people in the Communist countries or countries about to go Communist that our system is better and in every way offers people more freedom, pleasure and security.

I think this film should be shown whenever and wherever people come to see the Vietnam Monument in Washington


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