Our Man in Havana (1959)


220px-our_man_in_havana_film_poster“Everything’s legal in Havana” – Jim

Number of Times Seen – 1 (5 Oct 2016)

Brief Synopsis – A vacuum cleaner salesman is recruited by the British Secret Service in order to spy on the new government in Cuba.

My Take on it – I’ve been a fan of Alec Guinness for as long as I can recall, but never saw many of his films (including this one).

I was expecting a more thrilling and intriguing spy movie, and was a bit disappointed with what they have to offer here.

I do understand the need for a dark comedic look at the spy system, but for some reason that I can’t really explain, this movie just kept missing its mark.

I think that the misstep here was leaving it as a comedy.  They should have used this plot in a more dramatic fashion and things might have made it more entertaining than it was.

Unfortunately, even Guinness’ charm and talent can’t help make this a better and more interesting story.

Nice supporting roles by Burl Ives, Maureen O’Hara, Ernie Kovacs and Noel Coward

All that being said, the writer of the original book Graham Greene is a great author and was able to give us so many interesting stories, but this adaptation, just doesn’t do it all enough justice IMHO.

Bottom Line – Not as intriguing as I would have hoped.  Understood the need and idea of making this a dark comedic look at the spy system, but something just didn’t click right. Guinness is great as always, but even he couldn’t make this one more entertaining.  The supporting cast is quite good with Ives, O’Hara, Kovacs and Coward doing fine jobs here. Think this would have been much better had it been given a more serious tone.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Several times during the film one can see the neon business sign next door to Mr. Wormold’s building which boldly reads “BOND”. It is an obvious nod to Ian Fleming’s popular spy novels of the time. Bond Clothiers was founded in Cleveland in 1914, long before there was any hint of a James Bond. In the 1940s it was the largest men’s clothiers in business, and the Bond name appeared in most large cities. (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy

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