Chip Taylor Communications

Subject: English: Literature & Writing

English Studies Series

This series of documentaries offers personal and reflective perspectives on important figures in literature, focusing on their writing as well as their personal lives. Programs available on 7 individual DVDs, Digital Streaming Files or Videos; also in a 7-Disc Set. 1 program available in Spanish. Click for more

Graham Greene: "The Quiet American"

"Recommended. This documentary makes a strong case for the prophetic qualities of Graham Greene's novel, 'The Quiet American,' which predicted an unsuccessful American involvement in the Vietnamese revolution. This is one of the rare instances that literature was able to predict history with some degree of accuracy, and this program would serve to focus the beginning of an investigation of the influences of art on life, life on art." -EMRO Review
"Recommended. "Seizes on a remake of the movie 'The Quiet American' to re-examine Green's novel and the political situation that led to it." -Library Journal
"Graham Green was one of the greatest writers of the 20th century." -Smithsonian Magazine
Graham Greene's novel, The Quiet American, although dismissed upon publication in the U.S. in 1955 as "anti-American," has twice been adapted into feature films, in 1958 and 2002; the former starred Audie Murphy and Michael Redgrave; the latter starred Michael Caine, who was nominated for an Oscar, and Brendan Fraser. This documentary travels to Vietnam to gain insight into Greene's analysis of pre-Vietnam international politics; it goes behind the scenes of the 2002 version of movie and we hear from Caine and director Phillip Noyce; also we see clips from the original movie. Offering conversations with veterans from both sides, the past is re-created, and the situation re-examined. We learn how the British writer was inspired to write the novel after spending winters in Saigon, Vietnam, from 1951 to 1954, when he was reporting on the French Indochina War. We meet Philippe Caron, a former French Legionnaire who associated with Greene, and Lu Huan Tran, a Vietnamese who was wounded during the war. The American role in world affairs is examined and we discover Greene believed the bombings of Saigon Square in 1952 were the result of early U.S. interference, as they tried to find a 3rd Force to take over from the French colonialists and fight the Communists; this army came from the Cao Ðài religious sect of Tây Ninh. Like Joe Pyle, the young, idealistic, "quiet" American from the novel, the program concludes by asking how far a country should go to achieve a goal that is for the good of another country. Produced by ABC Australia. 02/09DE JSCA 17 min.
Associated Movie: The Quiet American - starring Michael Caine and Brendan Fraser

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