The Quiet American Screen 4 articles

The Quiet American

1958

The Quiet American Poster
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    Arts: Jean-Luc Godard
    July 22, 1958 | Godard on Godard (pp. 81-84)

    In turn scriptwriter, producer, director, and then all of them together, Mankiewicz is an all-round athlete who has more than one trick up his sleeve. Nevertheless, while it confirms Mankiewicz's mental agility, The Quiet American proves that in the end too much intelligence limits the scope of a film, or more precisely, its effectiveness. . . . Such delicacy in the scenario, so many gems in the dialogue, are staggering. But is this not a reproach rather than praise?

  • [The story] was sufficiently provocative for Jean-Luc Godard to declare it the best film of the year... Though The Quiet American may seem a curious cold war artifact today, it embodies Mankiewicz’s talky cinema in all its measured ambiguity.

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    Film Comment: Michael Sragow
    July 03, 2017 | July/August 2017 Issue (p. 76)

    Redgrave brilliantly delivers the reporter's candid, vulnerable voiceover as counterpoint to his slick or duplicitous actions, while Murphy has never been better at playing a heroic naïf... Cinematographer Robert Krasker makes the story come alive with the collision of exotic, antique iconography and contemporary mayhem and corruption. He generates a bitter romantic aura akin to his work in Carol Reed and Greene's The Third Man.

  • As shot by Robert Krasker, THE QUIET AMERICAN plays like a careful inversion of the strategy of the earlier Krasker-Greene film THE THIRD MAN. Whereas that classic emphasizes the dislocation of its American naïf by tilting the camera at every opportunity, THE QUIET AMERICAN plays no such tricks—all the scenes are staged in depth, an exotic playground with a textural richness that its characters are content to ignore.