Jim Wormold is an expatriate Englishman living in pre-revolutionary Havana with his teenage daughter Milly. He owns a vacuum cleaner shop but isn't very successful so he accepts an offer ... See full summary »
In the Post-World War II, the British Susanne Mallison travels to Berlin to visit her older brother Martin Mallison, a military that has married the German Bettina Mallison. The naive ... See full summary »
A man occupies a position of trust with a merchant in a Far East port. When he is discovered stealing he is sacked, but he pretends to commit suicide and a captain he befriended agrees to take him to a secret trading post. In HD.
In Wyoming Territory, a range war is brewing between entrenched cattle barons and new settlers. Cattle king Reece Duncan is opposed by ambitious gambler Jim Averell, who imports his old ... See full summary »
Major Jock Sinclair has been in this Highland regiment since he joined as a boy piper. During the Second World War, as Second-in-Command, he was made acting Commanding Officer. Now the ... See full summary »
When the Germans march into Prague, armour-plating inventor Dr Bomasch flees to England. His daughter Anna escapes from arrest to join him, but the Gestapo manage to kidnap them both back ... See full summary »
During World War II, tug boats conduct what are called salvage missions - picking up disabled ships. Not well equipped with weaponry, the tugs are sitting ducks for enemy fire. As such, the... See full summary »
Hard up and with a grudge against insurance companies, Rex Black feigns his death and meets up with his wife and the money in Malaga when things seemed to have quietened down. But when the ... See full summary »
A cardinal is arrested for treason against the state. As a prince of his church, and a popular hero of this people, for his resistance against the Nazis during the war and afterward his ... See full summary »
When a straight-laced British accountant marries a free-spirited American, he starts trying to change her. His wife doesn't keep regular hours, so he suspects an affair and hires a ... See full summary »
Jim Wormold is an expatriate Englishman living in pre-revolutionary Havana with his teenage daughter Milly. He owns a vacuum cleaner shop but isn't very successful so he accepts an offer from Hawthorne of the British Secret Service to recruit a network of agents in Cuba. Wormold hasn't got a clue where to start but when his friend Dr. Hasselbacher suggests that the best secrets are known to no one, he decides to manufacture a list of agents and provides fictional tales for the benefit of his masters in London. He is soon seen as the best agent in the Western Hemisphere but it all begins to unravel when the local police decode his cables and start rounding up his "network" and he learns that he is the target of a group out to kill him. Written by
Alec Guinness originally wanted to play his character as an untidy, defeated soul instead of a generally hapless non-entity. See more »
The plane carrying Wormold to Jamaica is a Vickers Viscount, which has turboprop engines that make a high-pitched whining sound. The engine sound that we hear, however, is the grumbling sound characteristic of piston engines. See more »
My idea of paradise would be sitting down with a DVD boxed set of Alec Guinness comedies from the 1950's. What will it be tonight? The Man in the White Suit, or The Ladykillers (both by Mackendrick)? Or Kind Hearts and Coronets, where he played eight parts to perfection? No, tonight will be Our Man in Havana, the blackest of black comedies, directed by Carol Reed from Graham Greene's novel. The tone of confusion and mounting panic, the sense of things sliding hopelessly out of control is perfectly caught by Reed, who had already given us the classic The Third Man.
The casting is very good. Noel Coward, Gregoire Aslan, Ferdy Mayne and especially Burl Ives as Hasselbacher, the most reluctant of spies are all impressive. Maureen O'Hara is a Rolls Royce when a Morris would have done for this story, but she plays well. I liked Ernie Kovacs as Segura, the brutal police chief; he had a nice vulgarity blended with sensitivity that worked for me.
Now my pleasure would be complete if this picture were available on DVD, and if IMDb would give us the memorable quotes this film abounds in. Like Segura: "one never tortures except by a kind of mutual agreement", or Beatrice's description of her estranged husband: "He was very beautiful; he had a face like a young fledgling looking out of the nest in one of those nature films..."
32 of 36 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?