Neon was an excellent film magazine that was published in the UK between 1996 and 1999. '1000 Essential Movies On…
Our Man in Havana
Is a light hearted and satirical tale of political espionage and intrigue in pre-Castro Cuba.
A very clever plot, interesting situations, solid development and stylish directing was tarnished by, and this truly pains me say, weak performances. Lines fell flat, the emoting was bland, I felt no charm, character, charisma or chemistry between anyone on screen, cardboard cutouts could've gotten the same message across. The story itself was engrossing enough that I still would recommend this film to anyone, but where "The Third Man" (which the type of caliber this film could've been) is a daiquiri "Our Man in Havana" is a Slurpee with a shot of rum.
That Carol Reed sure had an eye for shooting locations.
This is film has a fair amount of similarities to The Third Man: a Graham/Reed joint, wonderful locale, multi-cultural cast, intrigue and a protagonist in over his head. But that world was a lot more sinister and the stakes were much higher. Vienna and Europe as a whole were still broken and Harry Lime was causing a lot of human suffering. Here, this is Cold War shenanigans where each side is clueless- even the jokers in charge.
Ultimately, this is a fairly dry British comedy with a top-notch cast and creators. It's pretty light stuff and a lot of fun to watch. The only drawback is that it's perhaps a little too light to feel dangerous and not funny enough to be a straight comedy.
Punto extra para mi relación amor-odio con Graham Green, lástima dejar pasar tanto tiempo para verla
Even without knowing the source novel, I could tell that Greene tried to leaven its darkness for the film's script with mixed results. There seems to be an acidic satire buried underneath, one that loses a little bit in its translation to being a mildly-rascally Alec Guinness comedy. But that's not to say that the blackness is all lost... it's still a pretty dark movie even as it lures you in with its apparently lighter tone. This stuff is right in Reed's wheelhouse, and Oswald Morris's cinematography is gorgeous and appropriately dark while also serving as an interesting cultural artifact of nascent post-revolutionary Cuba. The daughter character is problematic, as is the way the male characters relate to her, and…
I couldn’t possibly have better confirmation of your reports.
It seems like only yesterday I was speaking of spy spoofs. They have a tough mission set to them and going for guffaws must necessarily take away from the gravity of the espionage. You can’t worry about someone who gets kicked in the balls, it’s just too cartoonish. But a novel can take on nuances and levels of subtlety that an original film is unlikely to strive for. Our Man in Havana (1959), based upon the Graham Greene novel, translates these qualities into a truly excellent film.
Jim Wormhold (Alec Guinness) is a vacuum salesman in Havana, Cuba before the revolution. He has money troubles, mostly due to his daughter Milly…
Pretty fun story. Good cast. I especially liked the chess game played with mini liquor bottles.
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Guiness warms up for his George Smiley roles in a sunny comedy of errors by Graham Greene. Amazingly shot on location in Havana just before Castro's armed takeover, it's interesting to see how prescient Greene was on the subject of faked documents of weapons of mass destruction.
The obvious comparison, but a bit like a friendlier, funnier The Tailor of Panama. Guinness is great, as is his supporting cast—with the exception of the daughter.
When people think of cold war comedy films, they usually think of Stanley Kubrick's 1964 classic "Dr Strangelove". However, four years before, director Carol Reed and writer Graham Green, the team that produced "The Third Man", released a comedic adaptation of Green's novel "Our Man in Havana".
Starring Alec Guinness as James Wormold, a vacuum cleaner salesman in pre-revolutionary Cuba who is recruited by British intelligence to be their "man in Havana." After failing to complete his mission of recruiting other officers in Cuba, Worlmold instead invents "recruits" and collects their paychecks, while sending them sketches of "secret weapons" he "found" in Cuba. When one of his supposedly fake secret agents is "killed", Wormold must find who is after him.…
One of the less-lauded of Carol Reed's collaborations with Graham Greene, this film deserves to be more broadly seen -- with an amazing cast including Alec Guinness, Noel Coward, Burl Ives, Maureen O'Hara, Ernie Kovacs, and Ralph Richardson. It plays like a wry Ealing comedy version of Greene's usual espionage cynicism.
- The Thing
- The Day the Earth Stood Still
- The Thing from Another World
- Liquid Sky
- Two-Way Stretch
- Séance on a Wet Afternoon
- The Last Great Wilderness
- Age of Consent
- And Then There Were None
Work in progress. Films mentioned in the book British Crime Film: Subverting the Social Order by Barry Forshaw. Not all…