Our Man in Havana (1959)

Not Rated   |    |  Comedy, Crime, Drama

Our Man in Havana (1959) Poster

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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  • Alec Guinness and Ernie Kovacs in Our Man in Havana (1959)
  • Alec Guinness and Noël Coward in Our Man in Havana (1959)
  • Jo Morrow in Our Man in Havana (1959)
  • Ernie Kovacs in Our Man in Havana (1959)
  • Maureen O'Hara in Our Man in Havana (1959)
  • Maureen O'Hara in Our Man in Havana (1959)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews

10 March 2003 | lemon-12
A vastly underrated masterpiece
Filmed on the eve of Castro's revolution in Cuba, this movie is noteworthy simply as a timepiece to Havana in the late 50s and as one of the last great British comedies from the Ealing Studios era. Guinness is perfect as Wormold the bumbling vacuum cleaner salesman turned spy who's invented intelligence reports become only too real.

The casting of Burl Ives and Ernie Kovacs (as German doctor and Cuban police chief respectively) are inspired genius. The glaring exception is Jo Morrow as Wormold's daughter Millie who has been turned into an `American' for the movie and just comes off as annoying, thus undermining Wormolds motivation for his actions. Thus lies the films fundamental flaw. As a book, `Our Man in Havana' is believable. The movie adds an undercurrent of absurdity (aided by Noel Cowards foppish asides and Ralph Richardson's incompetent blundering), without drifting into full comedic genre, which works well but for a few moments of slapstick and the throwaway ending. But there is more than enough here to appreciate. Carol Reed recalls his Third Man/Orson Welles street shadows during the final chase sequence, the music beautifully evokes a vintage Cuba and the cinematic setting oozes the paranoia and drama of the script. As an adaptation of the novel it remains satisfying and is perhaps one of the better adaptations of a Greene novel. All told this movie stands repeated viewing and I urge anyone to track it down.

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