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The Man Who Haunted Himself (1970)

GP | | Thriller | 18 February 1970 (UK)
Harold Pelham encounters a duplicate of himself in the aftermath of a car crash. After that moment, his life is upset.

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(based on "The Case of Mr. Pelham" by), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Hildegard Neil ...
Eve Pelham
Alastair Mackenzie ...
Michael Pelham
Hugh Mackenzie ...
James Pelham
...
Luigi
Thorley Walters ...
Frank Bellamy
...
Tony Alexander
Olga Georges-Picot ...
Julie Anderson
...
Dr. Harris - Psychiatrist
...
Sir Charles Freeman
Edward Chapman ...
Barton
Laurence Hardy ...
Mason
Charles Lloyd Pack ...
Jameson
Gerald Sim ...
Morrison
Ruth Trouncer ...
Miss Bird, Pelham's secretary
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Storyline

While driving one evening, Harold Pelham appears possessed and has a car accident. While on the operating table, there even appears to be two heartbeats on the monitor. When he awakes, Pelham finds his life has been turned upside-down: he learns that he now supports a merger that he once opposed, and that he apparently is having an affair. People claim they have seen him in places that he has never been. Does Pelham have a doppelganger - or is he going insane? Written by Jack Yan <jack.yan@jyanet.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Stalked by fear and terror - night and day! See more »

Genres:

Thriller

Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

18 February 1970 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

A Luta de Um Homem  »

Box Office

Budget:

£400,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Basil Dearden performed three duties on this movie. He was the co-Writer, Executive Producer, and Director. See more »

Goofs

Just before Pelham's car crashes near the beginning of the film, he forces a Mercedes to move aside from the outside lane to the middle lane, then within seconds he crashes into a barrier. No such barrier would exist on a British motorway and the sequence of events would have led to the Mercedes crashing anyway had this car not been forced to change lanes by Pelham. See more »

Quotes

The Doppelganger: [on the phone] This is Pelham speaking, who is this?
Harold Pelham: I'm Pelham I'm speaking from my office... Who are you?
The Doppelganger: I told you, I am Pelham.
See more »

Crazy Credits

"(By permission of the Royal Shakespeare Co.)" underneath Hildegard Neil's name in the end credits. See more »

Connections

Remake of The Case of Mr. Pelham (1948) See more »

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User Reviews

Carried by Moore's good performance(s)
29 June 2003 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Harold Pelham is a steady executive type who drives carefully, wears the same tie everyday and is a thoroughly dependable sort of chap. One day he is driving home when he has a car crash, he is rushed to hospital where his heart stops and he is saved by a medical team. Back at work after recovering he begins to suffer from memory losses – people tell him he played snooker last night but he can't remember etc. He begins to suspect that someone is impersonating him and is starting to live his life – but that's crazy, isn't it?

Moore of the period will always be remembered for being Bond more than any other role he played. The downside of this is that he is seen as the weaker Bond the one who become more about innuendo and jokes than anything else. This film though, shows that Moore is a great actor – one who is capable of lifting a film and making it better than it was on paper. The plot here could easily have spun wildly out of control and indeed, at times, it comes very close to being unintentionally funny. However the film keeps it's air of mystery well – even when we are sure that there is a doppelganger on the loose the film still won't let us see more than his back or his hand etc. By doing this it actually makes the scene where the two meet to be quite effective. Of course it's all nonsense but it's well played nonsense.

The main reason it works is Moore's increasingly unhinged performance – as the final hour goes by you can actually see him come apart like he was an old woollen sweater! It is difficult not to buy into the film because he is so convincing. His alter ego is also pretty good but it is the descent into desperation that he undergoes that makes this watchable. As a result I didn't really notice the input of the support cast – they were all quite solid but it was easily Moore's film. However, being a man, I did get distracted by Georges-Picot – waltzing around in sexy underwear in several scenes and I also thought Jones' psychiatrist looked like Dr Strangelove!

Overall this deserves to have a cult following if it doesn't already, The visual effects are poor and the plot is absurd. Were it not for the brilliant Moore then this film would have been better played for laughs. Happily he carries it and holds the audience in his hand. The only weak point was the ending which, although clever, was a bit of an anticlimax – in fact the final 10 minutes didn't quite match the suspense that had been created in the build up.


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