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Our Man in Havana
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Our Man in Havana

5.0 3
Director: Carol Reed

Cast: Alec Guinness, Burl Ives, Maureen O'Hara

 
Graham Greene wrote this witty comedy inspired by Cold War paranoia. Jim Wormald (Alec Guiness) is an Englishman selling vacuum cleaners in Cuba on the cusp of the revolution. Hawthorne (Noel Coward), a British intelligence agent, is looking for information on Cuban affairs and recruits Jim to act as a spy. Jim has no experience in espionage and no useful knowledge to

Overview

Graham Greene wrote this witty comedy inspired by Cold War paranoia. Jim Wormald (Alec Guiness) is an Englishman selling vacuum cleaners in Cuba on the cusp of the revolution. Hawthorne (Noel Coward), a British intelligence agent, is looking for information on Cuban affairs and recruits Jim to act as a spy. Jim has no experience in espionage and no useful knowledge to pass along, but Hawthorne is willing to pay for his services, and since Jim's daughter Milly (Jo Morrow) has expensive tastes, he can use the money. To keep Hawthorne happy (and his paychecks coming in), he turns in reports on the Cuban revolution that are copied from public documents, "hires" additional agents who don't exist, and presents blueprints of secret weapons that are actually schematics of his carpet sweepers. However, Hawthorne and associate "C" (Ralph Richardson) think that Jim is doing splendid work and encourage him to continue; meanwhile, Capt. Segura (Ernie Kovacs), the elegantly corrupt chief of police, has been fooled by Jim's charade into believing he's a real spy -- and has also become attracted to Milly. Our Man in Havana also features Burl Ives and Maureen O'Hara in supporting roles.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Lucia Bozzola
One of British director Carol Reed's lesser-known films -- due in part to its unavailability on video -- Our Man in Havana (1960) nevertheless sports the dry wit, intrigue, and visual beauty that distinguished his most famous work. Scripted, like The Third Man (1949), by Graham Greene from his own novel, Our Man in Havana keenly satirizes the British espionage system, awash in absurd bureaucracy and even more absurd code names, as Alec Guinness evocatively named Havana vacuum cleaner salesman Wormold is enlisted by Noel Coward's hysterically obvious spook to go undercover. Reed, Greene, Guinness, and an international cast, including Ernie Kovacs as a corrupt Cuban police chief, mine humor out of Guinness' various ruses, including a judicious use of his vacuum designs to bilk the Brits for all they're worth. The tone turns jarringly dark once events force Guinness to tap his inner 007, but Reed manages to pull off the film with aplomb, assisted by the fascinating backdrop of Havana itself shot on-location (despite the political instability) in luminous widescreen black-and-white. Rather than greeted as a return to form for Reed, however, Our Man in Havana's poor reception only compounded his late-'50s decline.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/03/2009
UPC:
0043396285668
Original Release:
1960
Rating:
NR
Source:
Sony Pictures
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:51:00

Special Features

Closed Caption; Original trailer; Martini minutes: "Secrets of Seduction" and "How to Travel in Style"

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Alec Guinness Jim Wormald
Burl Ives Dr. Cart Hasselbacher
Maureen O'Hara Beatrice Evans
Ernie Kovacs Capt.Segura
Noël Coward Hawthorne
Ralph Richardson "C"
Jo Morrow Milly Wonnald
Paul Rogers Hubert Carter
Gregoire Aslan Cifuentes
Joseph G. Prieto Lopez
Timothy Bateson Rudy
Duncan MacRae MacDougal
Maurice Denham Admiral
Raymond Huntley General
Hugh Manning RAF Officer
Maxine Audley Teresa
Yvonne Buckingham Woman
Karel Stepanek Dr. Braun
Gerik Schjelderup Svenson
Rachel Roberts Actor
Ferdinand "Ferdy" Mayne Prof. Sanchez
Elisabeth Welch Beautiful Woman

Technical Credits
Carol Reed Director,Producer
Bert Bates Editor
John Box Art Director
Denys Coop Camera Operator
Phyllis Dalton Costumes/Costume Designer
Hermanos Deniz Score Composer
Harry Frampton Makeup
Graham Greene Screenwriter
Oswald Morris Cinematographer
Gerry O'Hara Asst. Director

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Our Man in Havana
1. Chapter 1 [7:08]
2. Chapter 2 [9:09]
3. Chapter 3 [5:35]
4. Chapter 4 [6:08]
5. Chapter 5 [9:46]
6. Chapter 6 [9:09]
7. Chapter 7 [5:32]
8. Chapter 8 [6:41]
9. Chapter 9 [10:49]
10. Chapter 10 [10:26]
11. Chapter 11 [11:08]
12. Chapter 12 [15:35]

Customer Reviews

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Our Man in Havana 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the best comedy/drama of Alec Guinness's career. It is charming, funny, dramatic and exciting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago