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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

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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

Author Graham Greene said of his novel "The Human Factor" in his 1980 autobiography "Ways of Escape" that it was "to write a novel of espionage free from the conventional violence, which has not, in spite of James Bond, been a feature of the British Secret Service. I wanted to present the Service unromantically as a way of life, men going daily to their offices to earn their pensions." 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".
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User Reviews

 
Classic clash of love loyalty and duty set in the last days of the cold war.
22 April 2015 | by babblon26See all my reviews

Masterly British understatement, sang froid in the chilly corridors of secret service during the cold war. Superlative acting, as expected from a brilliant cast, does not fail to deliver the complexities and twists of a Graham Greene novel, equally well scripted by Tom Stoppard. The plot is not clever for cleverness sake but full of insight, dealing with many sensitive issues, personal and political. Yet the cast portray all this quite naturally, as people caught up in their professional and emotional dilemmas. Sound boring? Well it is entitled The Human Factor. Perhaps the ever shrinking attention span of the modern "culture" factory can account for this excellent movie's inexplicable disappearance. It's as pertinent and poignant now as ever. Must confess I saw it for the first time only a week ago on the telly.


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