Watch The Ugly American
- 1 hr 55 min
The Ugly American is a 1963 political drama film directed by George Englund and based on the novel of the same name by Eugene Burdick and William Lederer. The movie deals with the complex issue of American diplomacy, and it was released in the midst of the Cold War. Marlon Brando stars as Ambassador Harrison Carter MacWhite, an idealistic and unconventional diplomat who has been tasked with representing American interests in the fictional Southeast Asian country of Sarkhan. The film, set against the backdrop of rising anti-American sentiment in the region, follows MacWhite's efforts to win the hearts and minds of the Sarkhanese people while navigating the treacherous political landscape of the country. The story begins with MacWhite's arrival in Sarkhan, where he meets the country's Prime Minister (played by Eiji Okada) and other key figures in the government. He is immediately struck by the poverty and unrest in the country, and he becomes determined to use his position to bring about meaningful change. However, MacWhite's efforts are complicated by a variety of factors. For one, he struggles to overcome the language barrier and cultural differences between himself and the Sarkhanese people. He also faces resistance from entrenched interests within the government and military who are resistant to change. As the story progresses, MacWhite becomes increasingly disillusioned with his mission. He becomes frustrated with the slow pace of progress and the lack of real support from his superiors in Washington. He also begins to question whether his tactics are ultimately doing more harm than good. Throughout the film, MacWhite is contrasted with a cast of characters who embody more traditional American values and methods. These include a brash military advisor (played by Arthur Hill) who advocates for a more aggressive approach to dealing with the Sarkhanese, and a wealthy businessman (played by Pat Hingle) who sees the country as an untapped market for American goods. Despite the challenges he faces, MacWhite remains committed to his ideals. He forms a bond with a young Sarkhanese doctor (played by Sandra Church) who shares his vision for a better future. Together, they work to improve the lives of the Sarkhanese people and promote a more positive image of America. The Ugly American is a complex and nuanced film that raises important questions about American foreign policy and the role of diplomacy in promoting democracy and social justice. The movie's themes and messages still resonate today, and it is widely regarded as a classic of political cinema. Marlon Brando's performance as Ambassador MacWhite is widely praised as one of the highlights of his distinguished career.