Quiet American, The (2002) Movie 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?
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?
Nothing at all.
...est mort.
He was stabbed.
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
'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.
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.
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.
"Am working on a story
of major proportions. Stop.
"Suggest I remain in Saigon
until completed. Stop.
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
- 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?
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.
- 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.
Quick! Hide!
Quickly, hurry!
No, no! Don't shoot!
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?
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 Th?
- General Th.
- Who made him a general?
- He did.
He broke away from the French
and formed his own army.
- Hi.
You have a dog.
- Come in.
- Thanks.
- Where's Phuong?
- She's gone to see her sister.
- 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 Th.
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.
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.
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?
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 Th?
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 Th.
I'm Thomas Fowler
of the London Times.
I'm here to see General Th.
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 Th 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 Th.
- 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 Th.
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.
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,
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 Th 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 Th's army?
He owns a bicycle factory!
Well, I think Joe Tunney
is plotting with both he and Th.
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.
That's wonderful.
- Come sit.
- Thank you. I've got plans.
Thank you for dropping by.
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 Ionely 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 Th.
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!
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.
- 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 Th?
- 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?
- 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.
Did you see him?
He spoke 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 Th.'
And Th.
'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?
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 Th?
- Yes. And Mr Muoi.
And Diolacton.
- We met with Th 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 Th.
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 Th.
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?
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
Look, if you can't make it,
come straight here.
- I'll wait for you.
- All right.
I'll see you soon, Thomas.
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... '
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.
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.
Will you come back to me?
- Will you take down my hair?
- Yes.
Do you miss him?
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.'