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Movies: “The Ugly American”

Apr. 2, 1963 - Opening today is “The Ugly American,” a political adventure film directed by George Englund, written by Stewart Stern, and starring Marlon Brando, Eiji Okada, Pat Hingle, and Arthur Hill. It is based on the 1958 novel of the same name by Eugene Burdick and William Lederer. American ambassador Harrison MacWhite (Brando) travels to a Southeast Asian country — a fictionalized version of Vietnam — beleaguered by rival factions. MacWhite views the political situation only in the simplest terms: as a struggle between communism and democracy. By the time that the ambassador finally sees the situation as far more complicated, it may be too late.


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