Phillip Noyce's adaptation of the novel by Graham Greene (also adapted in 1958 by Joseph L.
Mankiewicz) was initially due for release in 2001 but held back after the events of 9/11, due to its critical view of the US role in Vietnam during the 1950s.
British journalist Thomas Fowler (Michael Caine), who is covering the initial events that led to the Indo-China war in 1952, comes under suspicion of murder when the body of a young American, Alden Pyle (Brendan Fraser), is found floating in the river.
Their story is told in flashback, as the American arrives in Vietnam, apparently to provide medical aid in the war.
However, Pyle is not who he first appears to be...