IN WAR, THE MOST POWERFUL WEAPON IS SEDUCTION.
Saigon, 1952; British journalist Thomas Fowler (Michael Caine) befriends American visitor Alden Pyle (Brendan Fraser), but realizes that the quiet gentleman has a hidden agenda… as well as his eyes on Fowler’s mistress. Finally a remake worth making. The 1958 movie version of the Graham Greene novel distorted the original premise, which was about disgraceful American involvement in Vietnam in the 1950s. Director Phillip Noyce’s film does Greene justice – and finds time to focus a lot on the love triangle. As a political thriller, it is utterly believable. As a drama about relationships, it thrives on the strength of its actors. Caine is brilliant as the seemingly cynical reporter.
2002-Australia-U.S. 100 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by William Horberg, Staffan Ahrenberg. Directed by Phillip Noyce. Screenplay: Christopher Hampton, Robert Schenkkan. Novel: Graham Greene. Cast: Michael Caine (Thomas Fowler), Brendan Fraser (Alden Pyle), Do Thi Hai Yen (Phuong), Rade Sherbedgia, Tzi Ma, Robert Stanton.
Trivia: Co-executive-produced by Sydney Pollack and Anthony Minghella.
Last word: “It’s the multi-faceted nature of the story that appealed to me. If it were just the murder mystery, it’d be great, if were just a complicated love triangle romance, it would be great, if it were just a political thriller it would be great, but it’s all three rolled into one. There’s also something weird about what Greene wrote about. [Weird] in the way it was so prescient in the mid-1950s, providing clues to answers to questions that had not yet been asked about the American Vietnam conflict. And there was also something about it that was prescient and timeless, even with relevance today. It seemed to me that here was a movie that existed as a good story and as a cautionary tale.” (Noyce, Femail)