Our Man in Havana

Film, Comedy
  • 3 out of 5 stars
(1user review)
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A real 'winds of change' film, with traditional values crumbling in the heat of pre-revolutionary Cuba. Guinness is wonderful. Discovering an unexpected ability to recognise the real in the game of make-believe, he emerges as master of the situation through the boldness of his fantasies. This mad world, where fictional characters die real deaths and even the Clean-Easy man can't be trusted, has little in common with Le Carré's Circus, but as Guinness' vacuum-cleaner salesman/spy sheds his innocence, he becomes dimly recognisable as an early incarnation of mole-catcher Smiley. Graham Greene's 'entertainment' is only gently macabre and the threats never quite materialise, but the film cleverly captures the confusion of optimism, cynicism and money-grubbing greed of the 'never had it so good' years.

By: RMy

Release details

Rated: PG
Duration: 111 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Carol Reed
Screenwriter: Graham Greene
Cast: Alec Guinness
Burl Ives
Maureen O'Hara
Ernie Kovacs
Noël Coward
Ralph Richardson
Paul Rogers
Jo Morrow
Grégoire Aslan
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Giuseppe Paolo Mazzarello

ON HER MAJESTY'S SERVICE Jim Wormold and a policeman play draughts sobstituting pieces with little bottles of whisky. This picture is evocative in this plot. The surname Wormold reminds us someone who is in the dumps. Moreover our hero is filled with anger to vent. He is a British fellow who sells vacuum cleaners in Cuba, has been left by his wife and has a flirtatious daughter. Moreover he is short of money. The British secret services offer him a job and he accepts it. Then he embarks on provocative and clumsy acts, whose irony is not really the main feature. On the way someone gets killed, the situation gets complicated and Jim is called back to London. He takes his daughter Milly with him, as well as his pseudosecretary Beatrice that someone had sent to him to keep an eye on him. In London a new task is entrusted to him, whereas Beatrice is sent to Djacarta. A little easily the author think it as a happy ending and foresees their marriage. The only predictable thing is that fiction becomes reality forever. So Jim will be our man in Havana forever. Moving course of events, originality, a title that has become proverbial. Bottles of whisky have really become pieces.