By Michael Flaherty
Updated August 01, 2003 at 04:00 AM EDT

Director Phillip Noyce (”The Bone Collector”) deftly captures Graham Greene’s snapshot of 1952 Vietnam, presaging the United States’ stealthy search for a ”third way” between French colonialism and a communist takeover. The Quiet American‘s love triangle is a less successful rendering, but not for lack of a sublime performance by Michael Caine as world-weary journalist Thomas Fowler. Its real star, however, is cinematographer Christopher Doyle, whose gorgeous mise-en-scene mirrors the turbulent richness of the time. EXTRAS The audio commentary (featuring Noyce, Caine, Brendan Fraser, screenwriter Christopher Hampton, and exec producer Sydney Pollack) achieves an articulate roundtable effect, while the Sundance Channel’s ”Anatomy of a Scene” deconstructs the film’s pivotal, gruesome car-bomb sequence. Also noteworthy: snippets of the novel’s original reviews.