Posted by: kfugrip | August 13, 2007

Okay… so this isn’t an Antonioni film.

I have had Our Man in Havana, directed by Carol Reed, on my DVR for close to a year now.  There was a festival on Turner Classic Movies of Carol Reed’s films and I knew that this film is unavailable on DVD at the moment and that I’d have to watch it on my computer (via download) if I wanted to see it.  I saved it and didn’t get around to watching it until last night, my last night with the DVR before I had to give it up (long story).  It is under these conditions that I watched the film.

Our Man in Havana is about Wormold, an English vacuum cleaner salesman living in Havana who  is approached to work for the British secret service as their agent in Cuba.  He is to recruit agents and give information.  He accepts the job because he needs the money to support his daughter and her desire to ride horses at the country club.  He is terrible at being a spy and begins inventing  things and feeding them to his superiors.  It all falls apart of course.

The story was written by Graham Greene and is one of three films that Greene and Reed did together.  The Third Man and The Fallen Idol are the others.   I decided that I would watch these collaborations but I haven’t yet seen The Fallen Idol.  

I enjoyed the film and thought the performances were good.  The plot was interesting and I could see the comedy present even if I didn’t find it particularly funny.  Reed is a great director and his use of the “dutch angle” is noticeable.   Alec Guinness, playing James Wormold, is great as the inept spy.  One problem, Burl Ives is a German and his accent comes and goes.  I hate that sort of thing and find it distracting.

4 stars.



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