The Ugly American

The Ugly American

DVD - 2003
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As a compassionate American Ambassador to the strife-torn Southeast Asian nation of Sarkhan, Brando tries to keep Communists in the North from overrunning the weakened democracy in the South by making sure a vital road into the country's inaccessible interior goes through.
Publisher: Universal City, CA : Universal, [2003]
Edition: Widescreen.
Copyright Date: ©2003
ISBN: 9780783283630
Branch Call Number: UGL
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (121 min.) : sound, color ; 1/2 in.


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Oct 02, 2014

After his initial flurry of brilliance, Brando settled into a long, erratic, frustrating rut of a career, with occasional reminders ("The Godfather," "Last Tango," "Apocalypse Now") of his once colossal talent. "The Ugly American," (1963) based on the novel by Burdick and Lederer, is from his wilderness years and, while not a bad film, is talky, slow-paced, and representative of Brando's mediocre performances of this period. He plays a U.S. ambassador to a fictional Southeast Asian country (played by Thailand) and it is perhaps most interesting as it prefigures Vietnam (although we had advisers there by this time) and was one of the first Hollywood films with a large Asian cast. Brando, as he often did in lesser films, feels curiously absent from the film. His sister Jocelyn, has a small role. Worthwhile for the Thai landscape. Fun fact: Brando once played a Japanese character, even though he's pretty clearly not Japanese. Also see "The Quiet American," both the book and the films.

Froster Jun 26, 2012

More than just okay, and a mystery why this movie has managed to sink without a trace. Especially since it has the divine Marlon just before he began his Hindenburg phase, and the plotline is so fascinatingly topical. I mean, really, a thinly disguised fable about Vietnam that came out just BEFORE that mess blew up? Worth a peek, though it is annoyingly didactic, Although its viewpoint that American foreign policy can be amazingly, disastrously tone deaf still has astonishing relevance. Who knew that this had been pointed out so EARLY in a big budget Hollywood picture? (And would that anyone had paid attention). Having said all this, this is a minor Brando job...he seems to be posing a lot with that pipe and Adolph Menjou moustache...although there is a fleeting second or so with Sandra Church where he actually connects. (So THATS what happened to her after she was Gypsy....)

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