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Movies: “The Ugly American”

Mar. 12, 1963 - Universal’s new film starring Marlon Brando (right with Sandra Church), “The Ugly American,” will have its Hollywood premiere at the RKO Pantages Theater April 4. The gala invitational event, complete with all the trimmings, will launch the Los Angeles engagement of the picture. Brando and producer-director George Englund, who will return from the Bangkok world premiere of “Ugly American,” head the list of celebrities who will attend. Based on the novel by William J. Lederer and Eugene Burdick, the picture was filmed entirely on the Universal lot with the exception of pre-production background scenes shot in Thailand. In the story, American ambassador Harrison MacWhite (Brando) travels to a Southeast Asian country — a thinly disguised Vietnam — beleaguered by rival factions, but MacWhite views the political situation only in the simplest terms: as a struggle between communism and democracy. By the time the ambassador finally sees the political upheaval as something far more complicated, it may be too late.


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