The Ugly American


Action / Adventure / Drama / Thriller

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN

Top cast

Marlon Brando Photo
Marlon Brando as Ambassador Harrison Carter MacWhite
Jocelyn Brando Photo
Jocelyn Brando as Emma Atkins
Pat Hingle Photo
Pat Hingle as Homer Atkins
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1.01 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
2 hr 0 min
P/S 0 / 3
1.85 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
2 hr 0 min
P/S 1 / 3

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by MartinHafer8 / 10

Very timely.

Despite "The Ugly American" being filmed in a fictional Southeast Asian nation, the parallels between this film and Vietnam in the 1960s are quite obvious. It's obviously NOT about this fictional place but is a commentary on the American government's reaction to nationalism and revolution. While this nation was founded as a haven for revolutionaries, by the time the film was made, the policies were generally reactionary--bolstering up ANY government that was seen as keeping the status quo so long as they weren't communists. Yet, like in the case of this fictional land, many revolutions had nothing to do with communism and SHOULD have been welcomed by the US but weren't.

This film begins with Marlon Brando playing a new ambassador to the tiny nation of Sarkan. Some of the senators at his confirmation hearing were not impressed--Brand's character appeared to be a political liberal and looked favorably upon the nationalistic movement growing withing Sarkan. After all, the leader was his old and dear friend. However, after assuming the post, both the friend and Brando behave quite stupidly. They should have been friends but very soon become bitter enemies. Brando brands the ex-friend a communist and the friend rushes to the communist camp for assistance.

My biggest problem with the film was its pacing. Brando goes from close friend to bitter enemy VERY quickly--too quickly. Things escalate wildly out of control in an interesting manner but it's all just too rushed to be realistic. But, aside from this, the acting is decent and the story quite compelling--especially the film's commentary on the apathetic American public. Clever and insightful, this one probably looks a lot better today in hindsight then it did back in 1963 before the Cold War in Southeast Asia really heated up significantly.

Reviewed by lee_eisenberg8 / 10

now that the Vietnam War has happened...

"The Ugly American" was released right before the Vietnam War started (depending on which stage of it),and now it seems more relevant than ever. Harrison MacWhite (Marlon Brando) becomes ambassador to the Southeast Asian nation of Sarkhan, which is on the verge of civil war between the Communists and the pro-US government. In Sarkhan, MacWhite begins to suspect that US intervention in this country might be prompting people to rebel. While he refuses to accept it, the situation becomes more and more tense, and MacWhite's officially neutral position becomes less and less sustainable.

You can't say for certain what the movie's political message is, but we might take MacWhite's speech at the end as a good reminder. Either way, this is one of the many movies that showed how great an actor Marlon Brando was.

Reviewed by GordJackson7 / 10

As Riveting As Ever.

I remember first seeing "The Ugly American" upon its initial release in 1963, and I equally remember immediately linking it with what was happening in Viet Nam. I found it absorbing and timely then just as I do today.

As the American ambassador with a total white hat/black hat mentality, Marlon Brando in my opinion gives one of his best performances. There's the shouting and the strutting, but there are also some very, eerily quiet, contrasting moments when he simply lets the frustration of his character all hang out.

As his former best friend and now rebel leader of the fictional Sarkan to which Brando's Ambassador White has been posted, Ejii Okada is every bit Brando's equal. Their sharp exchanges are riveting, as is so much of the dialogue in this film, dialogue-heavy moments that I do not personally find boring because what they are discussing strikes me as being as important today as in 1963 when this film was first released.

I do recognize that some reviewers were terribly disappointed (maybe even offended) that the film was not a recapitulation of an apparently well written, highly complex novel which I haven't read yet but intend to if I can find a copy. However, no matter how great the book, shouldn't a film be judged as a film because it is not a book? For one thing, movies don't have the luxury of an endless running time, a constraint not put upon the number of pages needed to tell a print story. Also, is not the punctuation, grammar and syntax of image quite different than that of print?

Finally, as others have said, it is too bad (a) "The Ugly American" has been mostly forgotten (if it has ever been heard of) and (b) the powerful message that ends this picture is still as relevant today as it was in 1963. Indeed, if anything it is even more (very sadly) spot-on than it was then.

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