1959 ( UK ) ( Comedy, Crime, Drama )
Starring: Alec Guinness, Maureen O’Hara, Burl Ives, Noel Coward
Director: Carol Reed
Alec Guinness plays Jim Wormold, a vacuum cleaner salesman, who becomes a hapless secret agent in a tale of secret service blunders and ministers who can’t lose face that still rings true today. The running gag — vacuum cleaners as secret weapons — frames a comedy that turns black. The film is superbly clever and yet light and humorous in equal measure. Filmed during the first months of the Cuban revolutionary government, it almost prophetically predicts the Cuban missile crisis that occurred a few years later.
Our Man in Havana is simply a very entertaining film, expertly made and boasting an amazing cast in some of the best-drawn roles of their careers. Guinness is perfection itself as Wormold, but he’s closely matched by Burl Ives.