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The Ugly American
The Ugly American
Actors: Marlon Brando, Eiji Okada, Sandra Church, Pat Hingle, Arthur Hill
Director: George Englund
Genres: Drama, Mystery & Suspense
NR     2003     2hr 0min

The united states sends a new ambassador to a divided southeast asian country about to explode. Studio: Uni Dist Corp. (mca) Release Date: 01/09/2007 Starring: Sandra Church Eiji Okada Run time: 120 minutes Rating: Nr...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Marlon Brando, Eiji Okada, Sandra Church, Pat Hingle, Arthur Hill
Director: George Englund
Creators: Clifford Stine, George Englund, Ted J. Kent, Eugene Burdick, Stewart Stern, William J. Lederer
Genres: Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Classics, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Universal Studios
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned,Dubbed,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 08/12/2003
Original Release Date: 04/02/1963
Theatrical Release Date: 04/02/1963
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 2hr 0min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 3
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English, French
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

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Movie Reviews

Brando does it again. Hard-hitting Cold War drama.
Roger J. Buffington | Huntington Beach, CA United States | 01/02/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This is a fine movie starring Marlon Brando and an excellent supporting cast. Marlon Brando stars as Ambassador McWhite to the fictional Southeast Asian nation of Sarkhan. Eiji Okada turns in a bravo performance as Cheyoung, a wartime comrade of McWhite's who is now a Sarkhanese national hero and who is opposed to American involvement with and presence in Sarkhan. The two men have good chemistry even as their goals are conflicted. Despite once being the closest of wartime friends, McWhite and Cheyoung now find themselves to be enemies. This is obviously at least in part an allegory of American involvement in Vietnam and other Asian countries, a topic that was at the forefront of American politics when this movie was made. Nonetheless, after watching the film recently after not seeing it for about 25 years, I found that it had lost none of its impact or relevance. This is a very good film with a solid storyline, a relevant political message, and good acting. These all combine to make this film a fine and rewarding viewing experience."
Fascinating Vietnam Era Drama with Brando
Roger J. Buffington | 02/11/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Fascinating drama about Communist insurgency in early-60s Southeast Asia. Takes place in a fictional country named "Sarkhan," which was based at the time on the situations in Laos and Vietnam. Brando is great as the U.S. Ambassador to volatile Sarkhan, trying to balance American political objectives with the nationalist sentiments of the "Sarkhanese" people. Perhaps one of the most intelligent political films of the 1960s. Also includes the Asian perspective and real Asian settings, a rare achievement for a Hollywood film of that era. It was beautifully filmed in Thailand, and the VHS looks great. The story lacks clarity and pace at a few points, keeping the film from being five-star. But it succeeds as a rich character drama in an exotic setting, and an powerful historical statement...a much more intelligent look at the politics of the 1960s in Asia than more famous films like "The Green Berets." Highly recommended for viewers interested in Asia, the Vietnam War era, and Brando fans."
Thoughtful Classic
Roger Kennedy | 09/01/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This is probably one of Brandos best films. Considering the time frame when this was first released its amazing to see how on the mark it was for the early 1960s. The comparisons with Vietnam for the time are obvious. The film also provides a study in classic US foriegn relations to 3rd World countries during the Cold War period. US policy can be seen to be well meaning, but often mis-placed and heavy-handed. The lessons to learn here are valuable, and all the more so today. I consider this film a classic because not many pictures like this have ever been made. If one considers how recent the whole Cold War McCarthy syndrome was as well its all the more remarkable. Sure it has all the cliche touches of Hollywood films for that time, but there is still educational value for today from watching it. History teachers should consider showing it to their students. Good to see on DVD with a nice picture quality.
Brando Loses The Cold War
Cowboy Buddha | Essex UK | 08/27/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The Ugly American was an interesting film when it first came out in 1963 but it seems even more fascinating now when viewed with the benefit of historical hindsight. A political drama with slight thriller overtones that tells the story of an over-confident and somewhat reckless American ambassador appointed to a volatile Southeast Asian country, circa 1960. The ambassador was appointed on the strength of his friendship with a local opposition leader - a man of the people. But things have changed since they last met. Good intentions, political posturing, and a dash of naive stupidity combine to plunge the country into revolution - and open the door to the communists. Of course, the US must send in troops...

The Vietnam allegory is obvious and somewhat enlightening, and the film remains remarkably pertinent today. It tries to step back to be objective, but doesn't always succeed - which is a kind of blessing. The film's final scene illustrates the danger of public apathy.

As the ambassador, Marlon Brando has seldom been better. The rest of the cast is solid and all the more believable for being largely unknown. The script is taut and incisive, the direction straightforward and unobtrusive. I just saw this film again for the first time in many years and was surprised by how good it still is - the sort of film that engages the mind as well as the emotions."