6.0/10
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21 user 13 critic

The Human Factor (1979)

When a leak of information in the African Section of British Intelligence is discovered, security man Daintry is brought in to investigate.

Director:

Otto Preminger

Writers:

Graham Greene (novel), Tom Stoppard (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Attenborough ... Colonel John Daintry
Joop Doderer Joop Doderer ... Cornelius Muller
John Gielgud ... Brigadier Tomlinson
Derek Jacobi ... Arthur Davis
Robert Morley ... Doctor Percival
Ann Todd ... Castle's Mother
Richard Vernon ... Sir John Hargreaves
Nicol Williamson ... Maurice Castle
Iman ... Sarah
Keith Marsh Keith Marsh ... Porter
Anthony Woodruff Anthony Woodruff ... Doctor Barker
Gary Forbes Gary Forbes ... Sam
Angela Thorne ... Lady Mary Hargreaves
Tony Haygarth ... Buffy
Paul Curran ... Halliday
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Storyline

When Arthur Davis, a junior bachelor in the British Secret Service's African section, is seen taking a file with him, to meet his girlfriend Cynthia, the brass fears he may be the leak to Moscow, and allows Dr. Percival to terminate the "risk factor" by poisoning to avoid a scandal. In fact, Davis' desk chief, Maurice Castle, is the double Agent, since the South African Communists helped him smuggle out his black lover Sarah M., meanwhile his wife and mother of schoolboy Sam, to force him to cooperate with the Apartheid government. When Cornelius Muller, the South African official who failed to get him in Pretoria's power, visits London for the anti-Communist operation Uncle Remus, he points out Castle still is the natural suspect. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Every man in love is a potential traitor.


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

January 1980 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

El factor humano See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$376,050

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$376,050
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sir John Gielgud only worked a day on this movie. See more »

Goofs

In the South African scenes (filmed in Kenya), the cars have Kenyan registration plates. See more »

Quotes

Maurice Castle: Davis calls all children "little bastards".
See more »

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User Reviews

 
a little disappointing
15 September 2018 | by SnoopyStyleSee all my reviews

Maurice Castle (Nicol Williamson) is a bland mid-level bureaucrat in British intelligence. The only notable fact about him is his African wife Sarah (Iman). His superiors suspect a leak in the firm and decide to quietly eliminate the mole to avoid any publicity. Castle's office mate Arthur Davis (Derek Jacobi) becomes the main target of investigation.

Otto Preminger directs this realistic espionage thriller from a Graham Greene novel with many veteran British actors. With such great pedigree, I expected a great classic but this is definitely second tier level. It does get better in the second half. The first half is a slow slough. Maurice's blandness works against the film during that first half. In fact, he's a side character in his own movie. The production value is limited. This looks more like a TV movie. Preminger is really struggling even considering the budget. The filming is not imaginative and very static. It's almost a throwback to the early black and white movies. The only salvation is the Graham Greene writing which has a sense of realism which is very intriguing. This is a little disappointing.


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