Jim Wormold is an expatriate Englishman living in pre-revolutionary Havana with his teenage daughter Milly. He owns a vacuum cleaner shop but isn’t very successful so he accepts an offer from Hawthorne of the British Secret Service to recruit a network of agents in Cuba.
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One of the great unheralded movies. Full of so much that is so good...from Alec Guiness's wicked performance to the mere presence of the likes of Ernie Kovacks, Burl Ives and Noel Coward!! And Maureen O'Hara is simply striking.
Tongue-in-cheek British espionage thriller is somewhat disappointing considering it's written by Graham Green and directed by Carol Reed. The convoluted plot is smart and amusing, there are strong performances from an all-star cast, and Reed makes excellent use of his widescreen frame with excellent cinematography by Oswald Morris but the film lacks an overall energy that keeps it from being the classic it should be.
Alec Guinness gives yet another great performance in this cinematic adaptation of a Graham Greene novel that provides laughs, tension, and a look at the contorted positions many people will get themselves into rather than allow themselves to be majorly embarrassed. Another classic from director Carol Reed.
An underrated Carol Reed film full of political intrigue, a comedic attitude, and a wonderfully understated performance by Guinness. Though not the perfect film as The Third Man is, this mixed bag of genres has nice nighttime cinematography & Burl Ives' existential doctor to help things out.
It's true that this isn't the most energetic of films, but perhaps this is a parallel to it being filmed on location in Havana? I find the lack of pace refreshing when films are constantly blurring through their own stories these days... The man and woman staring at each other and eating an apple at the start is a good example. Why does it take so long? We don't know, but we're glad it did. Funny too...
Saw this again yesterday. It was funnier than I had remembered. Still not great, but very dry humor. Despite the fact that it was shot on location in Cuba and the presence of Burl Ives & Ernie Kovacs in the (wonderful) cast, there was zero cigar smoking! I'm also embarrassed that I lost a bet by mistaking Noel Coward for Michael Hordern! Will I ever live it down!?