Vier Pfeifen Opium1958
The Quiet American is a 1958 American film and the first film adaptation of Graham Greene's bestselling novel of the same name, and the first major American attempt to deal with the geo-politics of Indochina. It was written and directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, and stars Audie Murphy, Michael Redgrave, and Giorgia Moll. It was critically well-received, but was not considered a box office success.
The film flips the novel on its head, turning a cautionary tale about foreign intervention into anticommunist advocacy of American power. In writing the script, Mankiewicz received uncredited input from CIA officer Edward Lansdale, who was often said to be the actual inspiration for the American character—called "Pyle" in the novel but unnamed in this film—played by Murphy. In fact Greene did not meet Landsdale until after completing much of the novel. The more likely inspiration for the character of Pyle was Leo Hochstetter, an American serving as public affairs director for the Economic Aid Mission in Indochina (Logevall 2013).
In a Hollywood still recovering from the effects of the blacklisting of suspected Communists, the film stirred up controversy. Greene was furious that his anti-war message was excised from the film, and he disavowed it as a "propaganda film for America." The Quiet American was remade in 2002, directed by Phillip Noyce, with Brendan Fraser and Michael Caine, in a version more faithful to Greene's novel.
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