Emotionally and politically complex beyond what most filmmakers would dare attempt -- and transporting in a way that vividly recreates the tastes, the smells, the very character of 1950s Vietnam -- "The Quiet American" is a pungent, powerful, psychologically spellbinding film about a aged British reporter caught up in a love triangle and in the multifaceted intrigue that led the country into two decades of war.

Michael Caine, in what is arguably the most potent, unforgettable and instinctive performance of his busy career, stars as Thomas Fowler, a disillusioned London Times reporter whose only remaining passions are his attachment to life in Vietnam and his love for his beautiful, fragile young mistress named Phuong (Hai Yen), a former taxi dancer at a Saigon nightclub.

After years of skating by on occasional submissions to his newspaper, Fowler is trying to avoid being recalled to England, by returning to the front lines of the communist uprising, when he meets Alden Pyle (Brendan Fraser), an idealistic aid worker fresh from America who befriends Fowler but falls in love with Phuong.

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