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 »
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 »
Two smart marketing people resurrect some old films starring cowboy Smoky Callaway and put them on television. The films are a big hit and the star is in demand. Unfortunately no one can ... 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
Fidel Castro's government gave permission for this film, which presents the fallen regime of Fulgencio Batista, in an unflattering light and also condemns American and British meddling, to shoot on location in Havana, only months after the revolution. It was completed during the brief period in 1959 before Cuba had aligned itself with the Soviet Union. See more »
While Guinness is talking to the Doctor in his ransacked apartment, you can see the shadow of the boom mic moving overhead. 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..."
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