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 an East Asian port. He's sacked when he's caught stealing, but he pretends to commit suicide and a captain he befriended agrees to take him to a secret trading post.
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 »
A group of conscripts are called up into the infantry during WWII. At first they appear a hopeless bunch but their sergeant and Lieutenant have faith in them and mould them into a good team... 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 »
Davey Fenwick leaves his mining village on a university scholarship intent on returning to better support the miners against the owners. But he falls in love with Jenny who gets him to ... 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 »
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
All of the on-location street footage shot in Cuba was dubbed in post-production due to the high levels of noise from the crowds on-looking the filming. 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 »
The novel was infinitely darker than the film. Satire is never casually light-hearted; it has a serious purpose. But this film is touched by the hand of slapstick artist Ernie Kovacs and, in an entirely different comedic way, Noel Coward. As many reviewers have noted, Alec Guinness seems at a loss in more ways than one to bring together all the different strands of entirely disparate story lines that are woven around him. The parts are indeed greater than the whole.
The one scene that I have carried with me, lo, these many years is the one where Sir Noel is having a confidential tête-à-tête with Sir Alec in a tropical garden surrounded by a rattan shell, and he suddenly shushes Sir Alec and cautiously moves to close the putative entry door. One of the best sight gags ever.
The sad thing about "Our Man in Havana" is that it came out the same year that Cuba traded in one tyrant for another. And there is nothing funny at all about either Fulgencia Bautista or Fidel Castro. I recommend the excellent film "Before Night Falls" for those persuaded that the latter was the lesser of two evils.
In short, one has to choose the comedic elements over the political ones in order to enjoy the film. And that means essentially anchoring it to the role of Noel Coward and everyone else who falls in his shadow.
17 of 25 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?