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This programme contains some strong language.
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.
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 straightaway 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.
thank you for coming in.
I'm sorry to ask you at this hour.
Well, 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-I-I just put two and two together.
He was killed by a knife.
-Can you identify him?
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.
He was stabbed.
Pyle est mort.
He was in love with me.
Yes, he was.
I'm so sorry, Phuong.
I go to my mother's.
I must think.
FOWLER: 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 with her friends 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.
Well, I've read your articles.
May I join you?
And what brings you to Saigon, Mr Pyle?
Well, I'm with the Economic Aid Mission.
I'm on the medical side.
My speciality is eye disease.
Do you know trachoma? It's very common here.
It's actually very easy to treat and prevent.
You staying at the hotel?
No, I just dropped by
for a cup of tea on the way to the office.
This is really a stroke of luck for me.
You know, you're one of the few correspondents
who has a reputation
of actually going out into the field
to see what's happening.
Not any more. And besides...
I have never thought of myself
as a correspondent.
I am 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 really appreciate it if you could...
'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've realised how saving a country
'and saving a woman would be the same thing
'to someone like Pyle.'
PYLE: We've got to contain communism,
or what they call communism...
FOWLER: 'What could be done, what should be done,
'what he thought, what he dread.
'He made me remember there was a time
'when I had wanted to make a difference.'
..To watch liberty snuffed out?
"Liberty" is a very Western word.
How do you define it for the Vietnamese?
By giving people the freedom to choose.
OK, you give them the freedom to choose,
they vote, and they elect Ho Chi Minh.
Things are more complicated than they seem.
What was that?
Sounded like a car backfiring.
A week here, and you'll know the difference.
It's been a genuine pleasure meeting you.
Maybe we could eat dinner sometime.
Yes, I look forward to it.
MAN TALKS INDISTINCTLY
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?
and a telegram.
From the London office.
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?
I should go up there.
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.
Which story is that, sir?
I don't know.
But I'm sure that you know someone
who can get me in there.
WOMAN SINGS IN FRENCH ON RADIO
Today our anniversary. Did you forget?
Can it be? Two years already?
-Heh, heh. Yes.
Ah. Be careful with me.
I'm old and fragile.
Not so old.
Not so fragile.
Say, I'm here with some friends.
I was wondering if you'd care to join us.
Phuong, this is Mr Pyle.
Thomas, you know Joe, Joe Tunney,
from the American legation.
Yes, I know Joe.
Overthrown any small countries recently?
Fowler sees conspiracies everywhere. That's for sure.
Bill, say, is it true that the communists
are attacking Phat Diem?
Well, how the fuck should I know?
We only report victories.
The reason that I ask is because
one of our medical teams wasn't allowed past Nam Dinh.
I was thinking of going up there.
-It's a Catholic town, isn't it?
-You got a date tonight?
-They're pretty strong against the communists.
She's got a date every night.
Well, you got your piece of ass, I want mine.
let's go to the House of 500 Girls.
Oh, no. No, no, no. Thanks.
I was planning on taking Mr Fowler...
We've already got a table at the Arc en Ciel.
Oh, well, that's great.
You go eat at the Arc en Ciel,
and I'll get eaten next door.
Sounds like a plan.
Come on, Bill. Walk with me.
FOWLER: Seems like a nice young man.
What does he do?
Something with medical aid.
-Where are we going?
You go and get us a table,
and I'll go and rescue our Mr Pyle.
WOMAN SINGING IN VIETNAMESE
-I'm just dropping him off.
I'm not staying.
No, no, no.
Please, please, please. No, come on.
Pyle, let's get out of here.
No, no, no. C'est fini.
Let me go.
Put your arm around this one.
If they think you've chosen one,
they'll let you go.
Put your arm around her.
-Who wants to be with me?
Good night, Granger!
Who wants to be with me?
WOMAN SINGS IN FRENCH
Miss Phuong, I'm so sorry.
Please forgive us for keeping you waiting.
I forgive you.
We had to make sure that Bill Granger got home.
Home. Ha ha ha!
Monsieur, a ticket?
Tickets for the taxi dancers.
With the girls here, you buy a ticket for a dance.
-Buy a ticket,
maybe I dance with you.
-There you are.
NEW SONG BEGINS
Phong is a very beautiful name.
It means "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?
Yeah, sure. Try me.
No, I don't.
I only know two words. I know, er...
Haven't seen you for a long time.
I'm away a lot.
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 Miss Hei, Phuong's sister.
Very happy to meet you.
Your father is a businessman?
He's a professor.
My sister is very good dancer, yes?
Well, she's too good for me.
She's my only sister.
Your sister's a very pretty girl.
My sister is the most beautiful girl
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.
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
while Mr Fowler is gone
to cheer her up.
Well, thank you. I'd like that very much.
What a nice woman.
An absolute saint.
She used to work in office,
She knows shorthand.
Maybe you need someone.
Maybe, er, we could work something out.
Please forgive me for dancing with Miss Phuong
so many times.
That's all right. 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 go out
-and earn a living.
Well, that's too bad.
Well, isn't that just a step up
from the girls across the street?
Oh, good God, no. Took me six months
to get her to go out on a date.
So, 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, when 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?
That's what I always tell my sister.
Do you think your wife will give divorce?
I doubt it.
FOWLER: 'When did everything change?
'Maybe there isn't one moment.
'A cable from London calling me home, or...
'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.
FOWLER: It's getting worse, isn't it?
How long can you keep going?
A few months maybe.
My men are counting bullets.
No, no, no, no! Don't shoot. Don't shoot!
What the hell are you doing here?
-They wouldn't let my trachoma team
out of Nam Dinh, so I figured I might as well
see what was going on for myself.
You know, you're lucky to get here alive!
It wasn't that hard after I hired a boat.
It wasn't that expensive, actually.
In the end, I just bought it.
You are mad.
Have you ever seen anyone with trachoma, Thomas?
Yes, I suppose I have.
You know, it's not that easy to remain uninvolved.
FOWLER: "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.'
Clearly. This is not the work
of French soldiers.
FOWLER: 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, "Dangers to Democracy".
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's the one that put forward the idea
of a third force to run Vietnam,
not the communists and 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?
They shall attack again tonight.
You don't want to be taken alive.
Stay inside that bunker!
MAN SHOUTS IN FRENCH
Do you want something to eat?
No, thank you.
You didn't come up to check your medical team.
Joe Tunney sent you, right?
A little intelligence work.
I've never been very good
at keeping secrets.
There is another reason why I came up here.
Um, you said that you might be coming up here.
The thing is, it's about Phuong.
Um, well, I guess it started
that night when we were at the Arc en Ciel,
and I was dancing with her.
Ha ha. I didn't think you ever got close enough.
And then I had dinner with her
and her sister...
..last Saturday and...
..just when I was
sitting there looking at her,
it all just became so clear to me.
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 all those other girls
in that awful place and thinking that Phuong
could very easily become one of them,
I don't know, I want to protect her.
And what did she say
when you offered her your protection?
I haven't told her yet.
You haven't told her?
No. I didn't think it would be right.
I wanted to speak with you first.
Look, if you two had been married,
that'd be a completely different situation.
I could never marry her. Oh, shit.
My wife would never give me a divorce.
She's a Catholic.
It's getting closer.
They're walking it in.
"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.
"I'll come around to see you both together on Friday,
Anyone due to go out to Hong Kong?
Someone from Reuters, I believe.
Type this up, will you,
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?
-It's a rally.
A new political party.
I think I better leave your car here, sir.
We can walk.
Isn't that Colonel The?
Who made him a general?
He broke away from the French
and formed his own army.
You have a dog.
-WHISTLES TO DOG:
She's gone to see her sister.
Would you like a whisky?
Oh, just a soda, thanks.
Does he have to do that?
Duke, come here. Come here.
You called him Duke?
Yeah. Found this guy on the street.
Didn't I? Who could turn their back
on a mug like that, huh?
I saw you and Joe Tunney at the parade.
Did you go on to the rally?
Thanks. Uh, 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.
Well, they sure didn't forget the brass band.
He's a pretty impressive guy, that General The.
It doesn't trouble you
that he's a complete egomaniac?
Look, um, I don't want to talk
about Phuong behind her back.
I thought she was going to be here.
Her sister told me about her predicament.
And what predicament is that?
I think you know.
Well, 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.
There she is.
-My sister is out.
Hello. It's very nice to see you.
Actually, 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. No, no, no, that wouldn't be right.
We shall sit down then.
..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 when I say
I've never behaved like this before.
It is abrupt,
and it is ill-mannered,
I'm in love with you.
Well, 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?
Listen, I don't expect you to love me right away.
That'll come with time.
You can always make love to the chauffeur
while he's at the office.
You have no right to insult her!
Will you shut your bloody dog up?
You can come away with me right now.
Tell him to bugger off and take his dog with him.
She said no.
Sit down, have a scotch.
No. I should go.
I'm so sorry. I-I apologise.
Do you want to smoke a pipe?
Why would I do that?
THOMAS: "I know before we married
"you warned me your 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,
"act before you have time to think
"and just cable me and tell me you agree."
I've just asked my wife for a divorce.
..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.
They printed your story.
Got a cable from Stemins.
This got me a month's reprieve.
"French break communist siege."
They didn't use much, did they?
Nothing here about
the villagers that were killed.
What did the French paper say?
Headlines blaming it
on the communists, of course.
Well, a month is a month.
What else can you tell me about this General The?
He set himself up against
both the French and the communists.
Do you think he'd give me an interview
if I went up the holy mountain?
Difficult to say.
Perhaps if he thought
he could get his message across.
Well, the problem with that 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.
I'm here to interview General...General The.
Thomas Fowler of the London Times.
I'm here to see General The.
SHOUTS IN VIETNAMESE
SHOUTS IN VIETNAMESE
'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.'
'So somehow I wasn't surprised to see him.'
'I was surprised to be pleased to see him.'
What brings you out to these parts?
Well, I was hoping to interview the general,
but they've thrown me out of the place.
What's your excuse this time?
Well, this is like a test run for us.
The French, in a typically French way,
have been very uncooperative,
but General The has been good enough
to let us set up camp here.
I'll get him to let you in.
-Joe Tunney's running aid programmes
with some of the businesspeople close to The.
Hello, how are you?
His name is Thomas Fowler.
He's looking for an interview with the general.
My name is Mr Muoi.
The general only has a few moments.
FOWLER: May I first ask you a question?
What is your relationship to the general?
-I'm a businessman and a patriot.
Many of the supplies and aid you see here
are the result of my efforts.
Shall we begin with the first question?
FOWLER: You say you've broken away
from the French and Vietnamese forces
with which you served.
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 victory?
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, er, he has another urgent appointment,
That was quick.
Things didn't go entirely according to plan.
Watch yourself with Joe.
I think he's up to something with General The.
Say, can I get a ride back to Saigon with you?
There's something wrong with my car.
Yes, of course you can.
Some kind soul has had mine cleaned.
I heard a rumour that you've been recalled to London.
Who told you that?
What is it?
We're out of petrol.
Some bugger up in the mountains
must have siphoned it off.
FOWLER: They might have some spare petrol
in that watch tower.
CAR DOOR OPENS
FOWLER: It looks like it's deserted.
I'll go in and have a look.
Is everything OK?
FOWLER: Yes. Come up.
Je vais fermer la porte.
-C'est bon. C'est pas necessaire.
What are you thinking?
I was wondering what she was doing right now.
WHISPERS: 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...
And 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...
it would be the beginning of death.
Somebody's had it.
There's 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?
They'd fire a shot and run.
Why should they die for us?
Or the French?
I thought I saw something move.
FEMALE SHOUTS IN VIETNAMESE
Christ, they're here!
FOWLER: As far as I can make out,
she's told them to give us up or else.
MAN SPEAKS IN VIETNAMESE
Stop. Give me that!
Come on, Thomas.
What is it?
I think I twisted my ankle.
PANTING AND GRUNTING
I'm gonna head up the road
to the next watch tower,
See if I can't find a French patrol.
Sit tight, OK?
I'll be right back.
DANCE MUSIC PLAYS
May I introduce myself?
I found a patrol.
If I had died...
..you could've had her.
FOWLER: And I think you should inform your sources
that General The 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 this Muoi chap?
Would he have the means to finance The's army?
Muoi. He owns a bicycle factory.
Well, I think Joe Tunney's plotting
with both he and The,
and it's more than just foreign aid programmes.
I'll see what I can find out, sir.
JAZZ MUSIC PLAYING
Things are under control at the office.
Try to get some rest.
Thank you, Hinh.
I miss you!
Are you all right?
I'm all in one piece.
You got a letter.
I fetch it for you?
Give me a kiss.
Give me one.
I will get it.
-You look afraid.
I think I'd better have a brandy and soda.
KNOCK ON DOOR
JAZZ MUSIC ENDS
Pyle. Come in, come in.
Thought I'd drop by and see how you're doing.
Very well, thanks.
Good. How's that leg?
I expect 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.
How's your sister doing?
Yes. Alden got her a job with Americans.
She likes it very much. Thank you.
-Good. I'm very glad to hear that.
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.
Well, that's wonderful.
Oh, no, thank you. Um, I've got plans.
Thank you for dropping by.
All right, bye.
HINH SPEAKS VIETNAMESE
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,
How could you treat her like this?
"you always picked up women
like you picked up mud on your shoes."
I'm sorry, Phuong.
So then why did you lie to her?
Obviously because I wanted to keep her.
That's not love.
"Have you ever stopped to think
"how sad and lonely this girl will be in England,
especially when you decide to leave her?"
Shut up, for Christ's sake.
"I don't believe in divorce.
"My religion forbids it,
"and so the answer is no...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.
You were right about Muoi.
He does have connections.
-Can we discuss this some other time, Hinh?
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, about that, we...
we'll do that tomorrow, OK?
No, a shipment just came in this afternoon.
It could be gone by the morning.
MAN SPEAKS VIETNAMESE
FOWLER: What is this "diolacton"?
-We must leave immediately.
Go home. Rest. Go. Go.
What are you doing?
Trying to save your life. Go!
Can I help you?
I think you've done quite enough already!
He's not in the office this morning.
He does a lot of his work at home.
I know what he does at home.
What do you mean?
She fixed him up with my girl.
Now, now, we can't have scenes in the office.
I know I am behaving badly,
but I have every intention of behaving badly.
As a matter of fact,
this is exactly the kind of situation
where one should behave badly.
Could we please just lower our voice...?
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, Thomas.
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 Fanueil 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 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.
Have a nice Christmas?
One long party.
Did Phuong forget something?
Heard you came by the legation.
It's a bodyguard.
We all have to have them now.
Are you married yet?
Um, no, I figured I'd wait until we got home
and do it properly.
You don't mind living here improperly?
You know, it's hard to talk to you
if you're going to be so cynical.
I just meant that it would be good
to do it with my parents there.
I had a cable from head office.
They want me back.
Oh, that's, uh...
So it's good that Phuong went off with you.
If I'd had to leave, she might've ended up
as another piece of ass for someone like Granger.
At least I know you'll treat her right.
So, er, does this mean
that we can still be friends?
I don't see why not.
So, what is diolacton, anyway?
-You know about that?
Well, er, diolacton is a milk-based plastic.
It's used for the frames in the eyeglasses.
Are you still in touch with General The?
Well, we keep the channels open.
Mr Muoi's been very helpful in helping us
get all our supplies through customs.
You know, the French have started to charge us...
You asked me for advice once.
Well, 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?
FOWLER: Morning, Larry. What is it today?
Ah, you know, some cockamamie assignment.
-Hey, we should go.
-You think so?
Joe Tunney said to be out of here
by ten to eleven. It's five-of now.
What is it, anyway?
I'm not sure.
Is it a demonstration?
I don't know, but if Joe Tunney says...
My friend is in there!
-Did you cut your hand, sir?
How is it down there?
Probably 20 more by morning.
They've started arresting communist sympathisers.
There was a woman...
..with a baby.
She covered it with her hat.
..right in front of his family.
Did you see him?
He spoke Vietnamese.
Like it was his, you know,
Come over here! Get this!
Move it. Right here! Right here!
On this side! No, over here. No!
Get this! Right here!
Get it right here! Over here!
No, no, no!
CONVERSE IN VIETNAMESE
Now go make yourself useful somewhere else!
-'Diolactin is a milk-based plastic.
'We use it for the frames in the eyeglasses.
'Mr Muoi's been very helpful in helping us
'get all of our supplies through customs.'
"Made from milk protein."
-'York Harding, Dangers to Democracy.
'He's the one who 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 some of the businesspeople close to The.'
-'It will take an independent Vietnamese leader to rule our country.'
FOWLER: 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.
They feel he can give them
important information about all this.
You're saying Pyle is OSS?
I believe the new name is CIA.
Anyone can speak to him.
It's not so easy.
He's followed by protectors.
But if you ask to meet with him,
man to man,
he would come alone.
These contacts, are they communists?
I don't know.
Suppose you invite him to dinner
at the Vieux Moulin, say, between 9.00, 9.30.
It's quiet near there.
My friends can speak to him undisturbed.
Maybe he's engaged.
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 contact 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.
A letter for you.
MEN CONVERSE IN VIETNAMESE
Just give me a few minutes, all right?
KNOCK ON DOOR
I got your message.
So I see.
Lie down, lie down.
I'd love a drink.
I've only got hard liquor
and you're probably on duty.
As a matter of fact, I've noticed
you're rarely off-duty these days.
Whisky would be fine.
Or maybe they just never were
what we thought they were.
Who of us is, Thomas?
Who of us is?
So, I suppose you want to talk about General The.
Yes. and Mr Muoi...
Well, we met with The this afternoon.
He's in Saigon?
Come to see how his explosives worked(?)
You know, his original target was a military parade.
I don't mind telling you that we were pretty tough on him.
Did you tell him
you weren't going to support him any more?
We told him that if he steps out of line again...
He tried to kill you on the road to Saigon.
No. He tried to kill you.
And you knew?
Well, I suspected he might try something,
or one of his officers might,
so I tagged along just in case.
Then you're a fool if you think
you can control General The.
In a war, you use the tools you've got,
and right now he's the best we have.
Yes, 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 morning, when Congress
reads the reports and sees the photographs
of the communist atrocities in the square,
they are going to give us that support.
The French aren't going to 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 have been easier
if I never met either one of you.
But you did,
and you lied to us.
What do you want me to tell you, Thomas?
That I take 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...or tell me
that after what you saw in the square -
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 is because of Phuong
that I am even more determined.
Let's just look at Phuong.
this daughter of a professor.
Taxi dancer, mistress of an older European man.
Well, 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 today makes me sick.
But in the long run, I'm going to save lives.
It's you, isn't it?
the staff at the legation,
Mr Muoi, General The,
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.
FOWLER: 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 cat,
"I can pay for the damage if ever so bad."
We can disagree and remain friends,
can't we, Thomas?
Look, er, I'm sorry.
Let's have dinner
and put all this mess behind us.
Nine o'clock, Vieux Moulin, OK?
That sounds great.
You know, I miss our conversations.
Vieux Moulin it is.
All right, then.
Um, I'll tell Phuong
that she can have dinner with her sister.
I'll get her to meet me here afterward.
Look, if, uh...
if you can't make it,
come straight here.
I'll wait for you.
All right. I'll see you soon, Thomas.
ACCORDION MUSIC PLAYS
Uhh. I need to talk to somebody who speaks English.
See, it's my son's birthday tonight.
SHOUTING IN VIETNAMESE
We need to ask you some questions.
Look, I'm from the American legation.
I'm just trying to help people see.
The thing is, I, er...
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.
MAN ON RADIO: '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 that...'
KNOCK ON DOOR
I'm sorry to bother you,
but, er, would you mind
to come downstairs with me for a moment?
What do you want?
There's something I would like 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 his throat.
You see here?
had cement between its toes.
This was poured
on the afternoon of his murder.
So what does that prove?
Monsieur Bertrand of the Vieux Moulin
told me that night
you asked for a table for one,
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.
DANCE MUSIC PLAYS
Ask another girl.
I don't want another girl.
Will you come back now, Phuong?
Will you come back to me?
Not to London.
Then I don't come back.
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?
Do you miss him?
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.'
Saigon, 1952 - Vietnam is caught in the grips of war against the French. A jaded English journalist finds himself embroiled in the politics of war through a troubled love triangle. Leading a relatively undisturbed existence with his beautiful mistress, he is disturbed by the arrival of a young American aid worker, whose interventionist political zeal jars with the older man.
Based on the novel by Graham Greene.