The Quiet American (2002) Script

'I can't say what made me fall in love with Vietnam.

'That a woman's voice can drug you?

'That everything is so intense, 'the colours, 'the taste, 'even the rain?

'Nothing like the filthy rain in London. '

'They say whatever you're looking for

'you will find here.

'They say you come to Vietnam

'and you understand a lot in a few minutes.

'But the rest has got to be lived.

'The smell, that's the first thing that hits you, 'promising everything in exchange for your soul.

'And the heat.

'Your shirt is straight away a rag.

'You can hardly remember your name, 'or what you came to escape from.

'But at night, there's a breeze.

'The river is beautiful.

'You could be forgiven for thinking there was no war, 'that the gunshots were fireworks, 'that only pleasure matters.

'A pipe of opium, 'or the touch of a girl who might tell you she loves you.

'And then something happens, 'as you knew it would, 'and nothing can ever be the same again. '

Monsieur Fowler.

Thank you for coming in.

I'm sorry to ask you at this hour.

I know about as much as you do.

He's an American. He's about 30.

He works for the Economic Aid Mission.

And I like him.

He's a very good chap. Serious.

Not like those noisy bastards down at the Continental.

He's a quiet American.

Yes. A very quiet American.

He's dead, isn't he?

Not guilty. I just put two and two together.


He was killed by a knife.

Can you identify him?

Yes.

He was... a friend.

To tell you the truth, I'm not completely sorry.

These Americans are causing a lot of trouble to us.

But still, a murder is a murder.

Anything to help us?

No.

Nothing at all.

Please.


Pyle...

...est mort.

Assassinated.

How?

He was stabbed.

Yes.

He was in love with me.

Yes. He was.

I'm so sorry, Phuong.

I go to my mother's.

I must think.

'I met Pyle where you meet everybody, 'at the Hotel Continental.

'I'm there every morning at 11.00.

'I'm English. I have habits. I drink tea.

'I'm a reporter, so I listen.

'I have a lover. I like to watch her arrive at the milk bar.

'And there was Alden Pyle.

'A face with no history and no problems.

'The face we all had once. '

I'm Alden Pyle. I'm Thomas Fowler.

The London Times. You've done your homework.

I've read your articles.

May I join you? Please.

And what brings you to Saigon, Mr Pyle?

I'm with the Economic Aid Mission, on the medical side.

Eye disease. Do know trachoma? It's very common here. Very easy to treat.

Are you staying at the hotel? No. I just dropped by for tea.

On the way to the office.

This is really a stroke of luck for me.

You're one of the few correspondents who goes out into the field to see what's happening.

Not any more. Besides, I have never thought of myself as a correspondent.

I'm just a reporter. I offer no point of view.

I take no action. I don't get involved.

I just report what I see.

But you must have an opinion. Even an opinion is a form of action.

Still, I'd appreciate...

'Pyle was hungry for everything I could tell him about Vietnam

'and her fight for independence.

'Why were the French losing the war?

'And why were the communists winning?

'Then he saw Phuong.

'I should have realised how saving a country and saving a woman

'could be the same thing to someone like Pyle. '

We've got to contain communism...

'What could be done, what should be done, 'what he thought, what he'd read.

'He made me remember there was a time

'when I had wanted to make a difference. '

To watch liberty snuffed out? "Liberty" is a western word.

How do you define it for the Vietnamese?

The freedom to choose.

OK, you give them that, they vote and they elect Ho Chi Minh.

Things are more complicated than they seem.

What was that? A grenade.

It sounded like a car backfiring. A week here, you'll know the difference.

It's been a genuine pleasure meeting you.

Maybe we could eat dinner. I look forward to it.

Great.

Good morning.

Morning, Hinh. Anything new?

Oh, corruption, mendacity...

I said new.

There is a rumour that the communists are planning an attack in the north, at Phat Diem.

One of your contacts?

Yes, sir.

And a telegram.

From the London office. Mr Stemins.

He says the paper has conducted a review of the foreign desk.

He wants you based in London.

Christ.

I thought you liked London, sir.

I do, but I like it just where it is. I don't want to bloody go there.

For what? A desk job?

They probably think it's cheaper to let the wire services cover Vietnam.

How many stories have we given them?

This year?

Yes. Three.

Oh, shit.

Maybe... I should go up there.

Where, sir? Phat Diem.

It's not an easy place to get into, with the communist attack.

Send a cable to Stemins.

"Understand your current concern. Stop.

"Am working on a story of major proportions. Stop.

"Suggest I remain in Saigon until completed. Stop.

"Fowler. "

Which story is that, sir?

I don't know.

But I'm sure you know someone who can get me in there.


Today our anniversary. Did you forget?

Can it be two years already?

Yes. Yes?

Be careful with me. I'm old and fragile.

Not so old.

Not so fragile.

Tom!

Thomas.

Hello. Hello again.

I'm here with some friends. Care to join us?

Phuong, this is Mr Pyle. Alden, please.

Delighted to meet you too.

Please excuse my bad French.

You know Joe Tunney, from the American legation.

Yes, I know Joe. Overthrown any small countries recently?

Fowler sees conspiracies everywhere. That's for sure.

Bill, is it true that the communists are attacking Phat Diem?

How the fuck should I know? We only report victories.

One of our medical teams wasn't allowed past Phnom Penh.

I was thinking of going up there. It's a Catholic town, isn't it?

You got a date tonight? Bill...

She's got a date every night.

You got your piece of ass. I want mine.

Pyle, fellas, let's go to the House of 500 Girls.

Oh, no thanks.

I was planning on taking them to dinner. We've already booked at L'Arc en Ciel.

That's great. You go eat at the L'Arc en Ciel and I'll get eaten next door.

Sounds like a plan. Come on, Bill.

Walk with me.

Seems like a nice young man.

What does he do? Something with medical aid.

You go and get us a table and I'll go and rescue our Mr Pyle.

Merci, monsieur. Thank you.


I'm not staying. Just dropping him off.

Pyle! Let's get out of here.

Put your arm around this one.

If they think you've chosen, they'll let you go.

Put your arm around her. Excusez-moi.

Night, Granger! Who wants the money most?

Miss Phuong, please forgive us for keeping you waiting.

I forgive you.

We had to make sure Bill got home. Home!

Number 30? Sorry?

Tickets for the taxi dancers. You buy a ticket for a dance.

Buy a ticket. Maybe I dance with you.

There you are.

Shall we?


Phuong is a very beautiful name.

Phuong. It mean phoenix.

Oh.

I thought it meant flower. Like the ones in your hair.

Do you like my hair?

This is traditional style. It's very nice.

Do you know Vietnamese? Sure. Try me.

When you dance, don't try to lead.

No. I don't...

I only know two words.

Beer and... hair cut.

Mr Fowler. Hello.

May I? Of course.

Thanks.

Haven't seen you for a long time.

I'm away a lot. Yes.

Who's he? Your friend?

His name is Pyle. He's with the American Economic Mission.

He's from Boston. In America.

He's a very bad dancer.

Yes.

He is married? Not that I know of, no.

This is Phuong's sister. Alden Pyle.

Very happy to meet you.

Your father is a businessman?

No. He's a professor.

My sister is very good dancer, yes?

She's too good for me. She's my only sister.

He's cute, the American. And money too.

Sometimes you're as vulgar as the French you hate so much.

Your sister's a very pretty girl.

My sister is the most beautiful girl in Saigon.

I don't doubt that at all. Mr Fowler's a very lucky man.

My father was very sad he had no grandchildren.

Would you like a drink?

No. Thank you.

My friends.

So pleased to have met you. I hope we meet again soon.

Perhaps you could arrange. When I get back from the north.

You are going north?

Yes.

Then you must come and have dinner with me and my sister when Mr Fowler is gone.

To cheer her up. Thank you. I'd like that very much.

What a nice woman. Absolute saint.

She used to work in office. Import-export.

Really? She knows shorthand.

Does she? Maybe you need someone.

Maybe we could work something out.

Please forgive me for dancing with Miss Phuong so many times.

I like watching her dance. She's a very good dancer.

She should be. She used to do it for a living.

What do you mean? She was a taxi dancer.

A hostess. Here at the Arc en Ciel.

I thought you said she came from a good family.

She did, but the father died so the sisters had to earn a living.

Well, that's too bad. What?

Isn't that just a step up from the girls across the street?

Good God, no. It took me six months to get her to go on a date.

Grenade. A grenade.

Are you married? Yes, I am.

But not to her.


There's something I haven't told you.

I got a telegram from the paper, asking me to go back to London.

So will you go?

I've cabled them, asking them to let me stay, but...

If they stop paying me, I'm not sure how we'll live.

I come with you to London.

I'd marry you if I could.

You know that. Yes.

That's what I always tell my sister.

You think your wife will give divorce?

I doubt it.

'When did everything change?

'Maybe there isn't one moment.

'The cable from London calling me home?

'Or watching them dancing together?

'Or what followed between us, she and I, 'through the long night?

'I was never brave.

'But there I was, heading north, 'the fear of losing Phuong more terrifying

'than the fear of any bullet. '

The communists attacked four days ago.

We pushed them back only yesterday.

We think there is 300 in this village.

But you will not see them. It's getting worse, isn't it?

How long can you keep going?

A few months, maybe.

My men are counting bullets.

Silence!

Quick! Hide!

Quickly, hurry!

No, no! Don't shoot!

Pyle?

What the hell are you doing here?

They wouldn't let my truck out of Phnom Penh so I figured I'd see what was going on for myself.

You're lucky to get here alive.

It wasn't that hard after I hired a boat. It wasn't expensive.

In the end I just bought it. You are mad.

I'm mad? Yes.

Have you ever seen anyone with trachoma?

Yes, I suppose I have. It's not that easy to remain uninvolved.

Here, this way.

"'Not that easy to remain uninvolved. "

'I had hidden for so long behind a typewriter.

'What we found there, what we saw, in Phat Diem...

'... what did that do?

'To his zeal, to my detachment?

'The dead are not involved.

'The dead have no zeal.

'They are lying in wait.

'You see them, all their tenderness, 'and then they haunt you. '

Communists? This is not the work of French soldiers.

It doesn't make sense.

The communists don't kill townspeople.

It is not in their interest. Maybe another faction.

There are so many of them.

Each with their own army.

What's that book you're always reading?

York Harding, "The Dangers To Democracy".

An American? Yeah.

He was out here a couple of years back.

Was he here long? I don't know.

I heard him lecture once. Joe actually met him.

He put forward the idea of a third force to run Vietnam.

Not the communists, not the French. Not the Americans?

No. We're not colonialists.

Something that could really help these people.

You have a gun, either of you? No.

They shall attack again tonight.

You don't want to be taken alive.

Believe me.

Shoot yourselves.

Thank you. Thanks.

Stay inside that bunker.

Do you want something to eat? No, thank you.

Come on.

You didn't come up to check your medical team.

Joe Tunney sent you, right? A little intelligence work.

I've never have been very good at keeping secrets.

There is another reason why I came up here.

It's you. Me?

Yeah.

You said that you might be coming up here.

The thing is, it's about Phuong.

Well, I guess it started that night when we were at the Arc en Ciel and I was dancing with her.

I didn't think you ever got close enough.

And then I had dinner with her and her sister

that Saturday and...

...just when I was sitting there looking at her, it all just became so clear to me.

I see.

Look, Tom, none of this was planned.

There's no way...

I never ever used to believe in love at first sight.

But after seeing those other girls in that awful place and thinking that Phuong could easily become one of them, I want to protect her.

What did she say when you offered her your protection?

I haven't told her yet. You haven't?

No. I didn't think it would be right. I wanted to speak with you first.

Look, if you two were married that would be completely different.

I can never marry her. Oh, shit!

My wife would never give me a divorce. She's a Catholic.

They're getting closer. They're walking in.


'Dear Thomas, I guess I'll be back in Saigon ahead of you.

'And I wanted to reassure you

'that I won't go to see Phuong until after you return.

'If you can make the next transport out, 'you should be back by the end of the week.

'I can check in with your assistant to see if you made it.

'If so, I'll come around to see you both together on Friday.

'Say 5.00? '

Anyone due to go out to Hong Kong?

Someone from Reuters, I believe.

Type this up and ask him to cable it to London for me.

Your big story? Yes.

Massacre at Phat Diem. Nobody did it, of course.

Not the French, not the communists...

But there are rumours.

What's going on? I forgot.

What? It's a rally.

A new political party. Bloody hell.

I think I'd better leave your car here. We can walk.


Isn't that Colonel Thé? General Thé.

Who made him a general? He did.

He broke away from the French and formed his own army.


Hello. Hi.

You have a dog.

Come in. Thanks.

Where's Phuong? She's gone to see her sister.

Oh.

Would you like a whisky? Just a soda, thanks.

Does he have to do that?

Duke! Come here.

You called him Duke. Yeah.

I found this guy in the street.

Didn't I? Who could turn their back on a mug like that?

I saw you and Joe Tunney at the parade.

Did you go on to the rally?

Thanks. Yeah, I did. It was really something else.

I thought only American politicians went in for that nonsense.

All that was missing was the ticker tape.

They sure didn't forget the brass band.

Impressive guy, that General Thé.

It doesn't trouble you that he's a complete egomaniac?

Look, I don't want to talk about Phuong behind her back.

I thought she was going to be here, but...

Her sister told me of her predicament. And what predicament is that?

I think you know.

You can't marry her, and by living with you she can never have a proper marriage to a Vietnamese man.

She doesn't need a proper marriage with a Vietnamese man.

She's with me.

Here she is.

Hello, Phuong.

My sister is out.

Hello. Hello. It's nice to see you.

It's you that Mr Pyle has come to visit, Phuong.

So why don't we all sit down?

Unless, of course, you want me to leave.

No. That wouldn't be right.

We should sit down, then.

Fire away.

Phuong...

Ever since I met you and danced with you and talked with you, I haven't been able to get you out of my thoughts for more than a moment.

I've fallen in love with you.

You fall in love with me?

Please believe me. I've never behaved like this before.

I apologise. It is abrupt and it is ill-mannered, but...

I'm in love with you.

Shouldn't you be on one knee?

Look... Phuong, I'm not a rich man but I do have assets.

Let's toss for her. What can you offer her?

Oh, Christ. I don't expect you to love me right away.

You could always make love to the chauffeur.

You have no right to insult her!

Shut your bloody dog up. Come away with me.

Tell him to bugger off and take his dog with him.

No.

Did you say no?

Yes. Sit down and have a scotch.

No. I should go. I'm so sorry.

Do you want to smoke a pipe? A pipe?

Opium.

No. Why would I do that?

'I know before we married you warned me

'beliefs meant that there could never be a divorce.

'All the same, that's what I'm asking for now.

'The fact is, I love someone very much.

'I want you to feel affection and act before you have time to think.

'Just cable and tell me you agree. '

I've just asked my wife for a divorce.

Your sister...

Was she really out?

I told you.

I thought perhaps she sent you back so that you could meet Pyle.

He's very young.

That's not so important.

Good news. They printed your story.

I got a cable from Stemins. This got me a month's reprieve.

Page 10. "French Break Communist Siege. "

They didn't use much, did they?

Nothing here about the villagers that were killed.

What did the French papers say?

Headlines blame it on the communists, of course.

Well, a month is a month.

What else can you tell me about this General Thé?

He's set himself up against both the French and the communists.

Do you think he'd give me an interview if I went up there?

Difficult to say.

Perhaps if he thought he could get his message across.

The problem would be getting it past the censor.

No, the real problem would be to get close to the Cambodian border and back before dark.

The communists control that road at night.

So many Europeans have been killed out there.

I am Thomas Fowler of the London Times, and I'm here to interview General Thé.

I'm Thomas Fowler of the London Times.

I'm here to see General Thé.

'September, October, November...

'I'd seen Pyle only once since he'd asked Phuong to marry him, 'at the Continental.

'He'd been polite, of course, "'how was I, how was Phuong?

'He'd been busy, he said, out of the city, 'working on his medical programme.

'Though somehow, wasn't surprised to see him.

'I was surprised to be pleased to see him. '

What brings you out to these parts? I was hoping to interview the General.

But they've thrown me out of the place.

What's your excuse this time? This is like a test run for us.

The French, in their typically French way, have been very uncooperative, but General Thé has been good enough to let us set up camp here.

I'll get them to let you in. C'est bon.

Joe Tunney's running aid programmes with business people close to Thé.

Mr Muoi. Mr Pyle.

Hello. How are you? Good.


My name is Mr Muoi. The General only has a few moments.

May I first ask you a question?

Please. What is your relationship to the General?

I'm a businessman and a patriot.

Many of the supplies and aid you see are the result of my efforts.

Shall we begin with the first question?

You say you've broken away from the French and Vietnamese forces with which you serve.

Do any ties remain?

The French are colonialists.

Not to be trusted.

It will take an independent Vietnamese leader to rule our country.

How does the General expect to launch a successful campaign against the larger forces of the communists and the French with so few men and supplies?

And who is providing the means for the General to achieve this?

Has he been fighting his war in the north?

There was a massacre at Phat Diem.

Were your forces present?

Regrettably the General has just recalled that he has an urgent appointment.

So, please. Thank you.

That was quick.

Things didn't go entirely according to plan.

Watch yourself with Joe.

I think he's up to something with General Thé.

Can I get a ride to Saigon with you? Something's wrong with my car.

Yes, of course you can.

Hello. Some kind soul has had mine cleaned.

I heard a rumour that you'd been recalled to London.

Really? Who told you that?

Phuong's sister.

Shit. What is it?

We're out of petrol.

Some bugger up in the mountains must have siphoned it off.

They might have some spare petrol in that watchtower.

Is anybody there?

It looks like it's deserted.

I'll go in and have a look.

Hello?

Is anyone there?

My car below has run out of gas.

Do you have any gas to sell? No.

Is everything OK? Come up.

Then my friend and I will have to stay here until morning.

It's not allowed.

My friend.


It's OK. Please, lower your guns.

Please lower them. He's a friend.


What are you thinking?

I was wondering what she was doing right now.

This morning she met her friends for elevenses at La Fontaine.

Ice cream and the latest gossip.

On her way home, she stopped at the market for fresh fish for dinner.

And now she's flipping through the pages of magazines, looking at photographs of the royal family and film stars,

listening to Bach's "Well-Tempered Clavier".

I just got her started on Bach.

Have you had a lot of women, Thomas?

You start out by being promiscuous, and end up like your grandfather, faithful to one woman.

I know I'm not essential to Phuong.

But believe me when I tell you that if I were to lose her,

for me...

...it would be the beginning of death.

Somebody's had it.

There are 30 or 40 of these towers between here and Saigon.

They only hit one or two a night so our odds aren't too bad.

So what do you think they'd do if the communists attacked?

These two? They'd fire a shot and run.

Why should they die for us? Or the French.

What's that? I thought I saw something.

Christ, they're here!

As far as I can make out, he told them to give us up or else.

Stop! Give me that!

Come on, Thomas.

What is it? I think I've twisted my ankle.


I'm gonna head up the road to the next watchtower.

See if I can find a French patrol.

Sit tight, OK? I'll be back.


May I introduce myself? Thomas Fowler.

Thomas! Thomas!

I found a patrol.

If I had died...

...you could have had her.

And I think you should inform your sources that General Thé has a lot more men than the hundred of their last count.

He's a story we should take seriously.

Never underestimate a patriot, sir.

What do you know about Muoi? Could he finance Thé's army?

He owns a bicycle factory!

Well, I think Joe Tunney is plotting with both he and Thé.

And it's more than just foreign aid programmes.

I'll see what I can find out, sir.

Things are under control at the office.

Try to get some rest. Thank you, Hinh.


I missed you. Ow!

Are you all right? I'm all in one piece.

You got a letter from London. Yes?

I fetch it for you? No. Give me a kiss.

Big one.

I will get it.

You look afraid.

I think I'd better have a brandy and soda.


Pyle. Come in, come in.

Thought I'd drop by, see how you were doing.

Very well, thanks. How's the leg?

My tennis game will suffer, but it wasn't much to begin with.

Ah. Thank you.

I'm glad you dropped by.

We have to thank Mr Pyle, Phuong, for saving my life.

Thank you.

How's your sister doing?

Sister? Yes.

Alden got her a job with Americans.

Oh, yes?

She likes it very much. Thank you.

Good. I'm very glad.

Since you're both here, now is as good a time as any to tell you that I have received a letter from my wife and she has more or less agreed to give me a divorce.

Ow!

That's wonderful.

Come sit. Thank you. I've got plans.

Thank you for dropping by.

Bye.

Sir, I...

I trusted you, Thomas.

Always a mistake when there's a woman involved.

Couldn't you have won without lying?

What is it, anyway?

My sister read the letter from your wife.

I show it to her, because... I was so proud.

So happy. How could you treat her like this?

"Dear Thomas, you always picked up women

"like you picked up mud on your shoes. "

I'm sorry, Phuong.

So then why'd you lie to her? Because I wanted to keep her.

That's not love.

See, he doesn't even deny he's a liar.

"Have you ever stopped to think how lonely she'll be in England

"especially when you leave her?"

Shut up, for Christ's sake.

"I don't believe in divorce.

"My religion forbids it. And so the answer is... no. "

I was taught never to read other people's letters.

I was taught not to tell lies. Come on, Phuong.

I don't speak Vietnamese.

Get lost!

You were right about Muoi. He does have connections.

Can we discuss this some other time?

Crates from overseas have been moving through his factory, bypassing French customs.

My sources have been unable to determine what they contain.

He's probably got someone on the take.

He's an exporter, not an importer.

Yes, well, we'll do that tomorrow, OK?

No. A shipment just came in this afternoon.

It could be gone by the morning.


What are you doing here?

I'm looking for Monsieur Muoi.

He's not here.

He invited me to visit him here.

I'm a British journalist.

A friend of General Thé.

Where is Monsieur Muoi?

What is this Diolacton? We must leave immediately.

Crazy British, they drink too much.

He's nobody, he's no one.

What are you doing? Trying to save your life. Go!

Phuong?

Good morning.

Can I help you? You've done quite enough already.

Where's Pyle? He's not in the office this morning.

He does a lot of work at home. I know what he does at home.

What do you mean? Ask her. She's fixed him up with my girl.

We can't have scenes in the office. I know I am behaving badly.

But I have every intention of behaving badly.

This is exactly the kind of situation where one should behave badly.

Could we please lower our voices? Why don't you bugger off?

Thomas, there is a lady here.

This lady and I know each other quite well.

She tried to get a rake-off from me, but now she's getting one from Pyle.

We have a lot of work to do. If Pyle phones, tell him I called.

It would be polite to return the visit.

How did he get in here?


This is Boston?

No, that's Niagara Falls. So is that.

This is Boston. That's Faneuil Hall.

I can't wait to take you to my country.

My friend from school.

She go to airport with her boyfriend.

He said he'd take her to France.

But in the airport, he disappear, leave her there.

So many girls with French boyfriend,

no one to marry them.

Well, that'll never happen to you.

I promise.

Hi. Have a nice Christmas?

One long party.

Did Phuong forget something?

Heard you came by the legation.

Yes.

Who's this? Bodyguard. We all have them now.

Are you married yet?

No, I figured I'd wait until we got home and do it properly.

You don't mind living here improperly?

It's hard to talk if you're going to be so cynical.

I meant it'd be good to do it with my parents there.

I had a cable from head office. They want me back.

Oh, that's...

So it's good that Phuong went off with you.

She might have ended up as another piece of arse for someone like Granger.

At least I know you'll treat her right.

So does this mean that we can still be friends?

I don't see why not.

So what is Diolacton, anyway?

You know about that? Shouldn't I?

Well... Diolacton is a milk-based plastic.

It's used for the frames in the eyeglasses.

Are you still in touch with General Thé?

We keep the channels open. And Muoi?

Mr Muoi's helped get our supplies through customs.

The French have started to charge for... You asked me for advice once.

Here it is. Leave the bloody third force to Joe, forget York Harding, and go home with Phuong.

And would you shut the door on the way out, please?

Morning, Larry. What is it today?

You know, some cockamamie assignment.

We should go. Joe Tunney said to be out of here by ten to eleven.

What is it, anyway? I'm not sure.

Is it a demonstration? I don't know.


My friend is in there.


Did you cut your hand, sir?

Yes.

How is it down there? 30 dead.

Probably 20 more by morning.

They've started arresting communist sympathisers.

There was a woman.

With a baby.

She covered it with her hat.

This man... he died.

Right in front of his family.

Pyle...

Did you see him?

He spoke Vietnamese.

Vietnamese.

Like... like it was his, you know, native language.

Murray! Come over here! Get this.

Move it. Right here. On this side.


Understand? Go make yourself useful somewhere else!

'Diolacton is a milk-based plastic. We used it for the frames. '

'How many stories have we given them? '

'This year? '

'Mr Muoi's been very helpful... '

"Casein plastics.

"Made from milk protein. "

'York Harding: "Dangers to Democracy. "

'He put forward the idea of a third force... '

"Used in the manufacture of imitation tortoiseshell and jade.

"Trade name: Diolacton.

"Also used as a plasticiser

"in explosive compounds. "

'Joe Tunney's running aid programmes

'with business people close to Thé.'

Muoi.

And Thé.

'It will take an independent Vietnamese leader to rule our country. '

'The Americans have been supplying them

'with materials to make bombs. '

'Fowler sees conspiracies everywhere. '

I have some contacts who would like to speak to your friend.

Joe Tunney?

Pyle?

They feel he can give them important information about all this.

You're saying Pyle is OSS?

I believe the new name is the CIA.

Anyone could speak to him. It's not so easy.

He's followed by protectors.

But if you asked to meet with him, man to man, he would come along.

These contacts, are they communist?

Officially, no. Unofficially, yes.

I don't know.

Suppose you invite him to dinner at the Vieux Moulin, say between 9.00 and 9.30.

It's quiet near there. My friends can speak to him undisturbed.

Maybe he's engaged.

At 6.30, my contacts will have someone in the street outside your apartment.

All you have to do, if you decide to invite him to dinner, go to the window and open a book.

What will they do to him?

I promise you, my contacts will act as gently as the situation allows.

Sooner or later, Mr Fowler, one has to take sides if one is to remain human.


'I need to speak to you about what happened this morning

'in the Place Garnier. '


Phuong. A letter for you.

Thank you.

Just give me a few minutes, all right?


Come in.

I got your message.

So I see.

I'd love a drink. I've only got hard liquor.

You're probably on duty. I've noticed you're rarely off duty these days.

Whisky'd be fine. People change.

Or maybe they just never were what we thought they were.

Who of us is, Thomas? Who of us is?

You want to talk about General Thé? Yes. And Mr Muoi.

And Diolacton.

We met with Thé this afternoon. He's in Saigon?

Come to see how his explosives worked?

You know, his original target was a military parade.

We were pretty tough on him.

Did you tell him you wouldn't support him?

We told him if he steps out of line again...

He tried to kill you on the road to Saigon.

No. He tried to kill you.

You knew?

I suspected he might try something. Or one of his officers.

So I tagged along just in case.

You're a fool if you think you can control General Thé.

In a war, you use the tools you've got.

Right now, he's the best we have.

And in the meantime, even more people must die.

Last year the US government gave $210 million in military assistance to the French in Indochina.

If we are going to stop communism and underwrite a third way, we need to give the people a leader who they admire.

Tomorrow when Congress sees the photographs of the communist atrocities, they are going to give us that support.

The French won't stop the communists.

They haven't got the brains and they haven't got the guts.

How did I fit into all this?

Am I part of your cover?

Or a source of information?

Or did you have your eye on Phuong all the time?

You and Phuong? I never planned for any of that to happen. Believe me.

It would've been easier if I'd never met either one of you.

But you did. And you lied to us. What do you want me to tell you?

That I took no action? That I have no opinion?

Tell me that you don't mean any of this.

Tell me that you were only obeying orders.

Or tell me that after what you saw in the square, those children, who did nothing and hurt no one, tell me that you were so confused and horrified at how brutal and insane these actions are.

Tell me how your love for Phuong has caused you to have some doubts.

But it's because of Phuong that I am even more determined.

Let's just look at Phuong. There's beauty. There's daughter of a professor.

Taxi dancer. Mistress of an older European man.

That pretty well describes the whole country, doesn't it?

Look, Thomas, we are here to save Vietnam from all of that.

What happened in the square makes me sick.

But in the long run, I'm going to save lives.

It's you, isn't it?

Joe Tunney, the staff at the legation, Mr Muoi, General Thé.

They all take their fucking orders from you, Pyle.

York Harding prattles on about a third force in that book you carry around.

You've actually gone out and made one.

I don't think you see the big picture, Thomas.

No, I do not see the big picture.

Do you know this poem?

"I walk down the street and I don't give a damn

"The people, they stare and they ask who I am

"And if by chance I should run over a cad

"I can pay for the damage, if ever so bad. "

We can disagree and remain friends, can't we, Thomas?

Yes.

Look, I'm sorry.

Let's have dinner and put all this mess behind us.

9.00, Vieux Moulin. OK? That sounds great.

I miss our conversations.

Vieux Moulin it is.

All right, then. I'll tell Phuong she can have dinner with her sister.

I'll get her to meet me here afterwards.

Look, if you can't make it, come straight here.

I'll wait for you. All right.

I'll see you soon, Thomas.


Walk.

I need to talk to somebody who speaks English.

You see, it's my son's birthday tonight.

We need to ask you some questions.

I'm from the American legation. I just try and help people see.

The thing is, I...

...I got a cable from my wife.

My boy has polio. They don't know if he's going to make it.

I don't care if he's crippled.

I just don't want him to die.


I'm sorry. I've just got to get some air.

Throw him in the river.


'At least 2,000 people were killed and scores of others injured.

'In the wake of last week's devastating bomb blast in Saigon, 'French officials report... '

Phuong?

I'm sorry to bother you, but... would you mind to come downstairs with me?

What do you want? I have something to show you.

It seems Monsieur Pyle came to see you the night he died.

So what, Vigot? You said he did not.

By the way, we found Pyle's dog.

They cut its throat.

You see here?

Pyle's dog had cement between its toes.

This was poured on the afternoon of his murder.

So what does that prove?

And the patron of the Vieux Moulin told me that night you asked for a table for one.

Not two.

I have nothing more to add to my original statement.

Nothing?

You know I didn't kill him, Vigot.

There's a war on.

People are dying every day.


Ask another girl.

I don't want another girl.


Will you come back now, Phuong?

Will you come back to me? To London?

No. Not to London.

Then I don't come back.

Please. I...

I can't take you to London.

Because I'm not going.

I'm not leaving you.

Never.

Will you come back to me?


Will you take down my hair? Yes.

Do you miss him?

Yes.

I'm sorry.

Why are you sorry?

I don't know.

I just feel that...

I ought to apologise to... someone.

Not to me.

Never to me.

'They say you come to Vietnam

'and understand a lot in a few minutes.

'The rest has got to be lived.

'They say whatever it was you were looking for

'you will find here.

'They say there is a ghost in every house.

'And if you can make peace with him, 'he will stay quiet. '