Jim Wormold, who is a vacuum cleaner salesman, participates as an agent in the British Secret Service. But he soon realizes that his plans by lying are going to get him into trouble.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Jim Wormold
...
Dr. Hasselbacher
...
Beatrice Severn
...
Capt. Segura
...
Hawthorne
...
'C'
...
Milly Wormold
...
Cifuentes (as Gregoire Aslan)
Paul Rogers ...
Raymond Huntley ...
General
...
Prof. Sanchez
Maurice Denham ...
Admiral
Joseph P. Mawra ...
Lopez (as Jose Prieto)
Duncan Macrae ...
MacDougal
Gerik Schjelderup ...
Svenson
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Storyline

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 garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A murderously funny story, magnificently cast....marvelously made !


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Details

Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

19 February 1960 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Nuestro hombre en La Habana  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the scene where Alec Guinness' daughter first shows him the horse, she puts the saddle on the horse backwards. See more »

Goofs

When Wormold and Hasselbacher are discussing the recruitment of agents in the bar, Hasselbacher, when being shot over his shoulder, is heard to say a line while seen to be drinking deeply from his glass. See more »

Quotes

'C': In our service it is essential to bury the past very quickly and very securely.
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Connections

Referenced in Doctor Who: School Reunion (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

¿Domitila, dónde vas?
(uncredited)
Written by Ricardo Díaz
Sung often by the three street musicians
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User Reviews

 
Guinness is good for you
30 September 2006 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

Sir Alec is, as always, magnetic. Guinness described himself as someone who liked to put on the mask, preferring to live someone else's life in order to keep his own private. Here his character tries to do something like that, with mixed results.

What is it about Guinness that makes it so hard to take our eyes off him? This role is, in a way, a variation on Col. Nicholson: the simple soul who discovers, a little too late, that he has understood nothing. In both cases their innocent acts start a chain of events that comes close to tragedy (but for Hollywood endings), and yet we never think of blaming either character for what they have brought about.

On the contrary, it's hard not to feel that Wormold deserves all of his undeserved good fortune, which appears to come at no cost. And even after Greene's story dispels that illusion, we still feel that his decency ought to count for something, even if his intentions were less than pure.

You can read this movie as an allegory for the common delusion on the part of great powers that they can direct events to their liking. If so, then Guinness has, even without the tacked on ending, subverted it. And even if we know better, it is hard not to cheer for him.


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