The Quiet American

The Quiet American

DVD Rating: ****

Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson

Read Jennie Kermode's film review of The Quiet American

While the film itself is a little disappointing, its presentation could scarcely be slicker. The print is good, with no scratching or other distractions, the sound fine and the interactive menus engaging and easy to use.

The Sundance Anatomy of a Scene is one of a series aiming to take just a single scene from different films and talk it through in terms of location, shooting and cinematography. It comes as a welcome addition here. There are thoughtful comments surrounding a scene in which a bomb explodes in the town square from all the gliteratti in the film, including Michael Caine, director Philip Noyce, screenwriter Christopher Hampton and executive producer Sidney Pollack. Their comments build a comprehensive picture of the effort taken to achieve authenticity, right down to interviewing original eye-witnesses - the bombing actually happened - to make sure everything was in the correct place.

Copy picture

The original featurette, too, is better than average, offering an interesting insight from members of the cast and crew. For those seeking a better understanding of the time in which Graham Greene penned his novel, the Vietnam timeline, which traces events from 1940 to 1950 inclusive, offers an insight.

The original book reviews, too, are revealing, with a mixed bag of three presented here, not all of which are glowing about the novel.

Finally the commentary by seemingly anyone who was anybody on the film is entertaining and enlightening. With background comments from everyone from Noyce and his crew, through to Caine and Brendan Fraser, it offers comments on casting, production and, perhaps most interestingly, an insight into how each member of cast and crew came to be familiar with Greene's work.

All in all this is one of the better presented sets of extras that I've seen.

Reviewed on: 16 Oct 2003
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The Quiet American packshot
A veteran correspondent goes native in pre-Vietnam War Saigon.
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Product Code: D611516

Region: 2

Ratio: Anamorphic widescreen 1:85:1

Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1

Extras: Anatomy of a Scene; Original Featurette; Vietnam Timeline; Original Book Reviews; Commentary by the cast and crew.

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