Our Man In Havana (1959)

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    There are 3 replies in this Thread. The last Post () by Romy.

    • Our Man In Havana (1959)



      Information from IMDb

      Plot Summary
      Jim Wormold sells vacuum cleaners in Havana. His daughter Milly, 17,
      spends a lot of money, so he accepts a job with the Intelligence Service.
      As he has nothing to report, he invents facts, pretends to recruit agents
      and to discover secret constructions...
      Of course, one day all will become much harder...
      Written by Yepok

      Full Cast
      Alec Guinness .... Jim Wormold
      Burl Ives .... Dr. Hasselbacher
      Maureen O'Hara .... Beatrice Severn
      Ernie Kovacs .... Capt. Segura
      Noel Coward .... Hawthorne (as Noël Coward)
      Ralph Richardson .... 'C'
      Jo Morrow .... Milly Wormold
      Grégoire Aslan .... Cifuentes (as Gregoire Aslan)
      Paul Rogers .... Hubert Carter
      Raymond Huntley .... General
      Ferdy Mayne .... Prof. Sanchez
      Maurice Denham .... Admiral
      José Prieto .... Lopez (as Jose Prieto)
      Duncan Macrae .... MacDougal
      Gerik Schjelderup .... Svenson
      Hugh Manning .... Officer
      Karel Stepanek .... Dr. Braun
      Maxine Audley .... Teresa
      Elisabeth Welch .... Woman
      Yvonne Buckingham .... Woman
      Enrique Almirante .... Man at the Film Introduction (uncredited)
      René de la Cruz .... Man Beaten by Police (uncredited)
      Madeleine Kasket .... Black-haired girl (uncredited)
      Shan Lawrence .... Native Canadian Girl (uncredited)
      Anne Padwick .... Dark-haired woman (uncredited)
      Rachel Roberts .... Prostitute (uncredited)

      Writing Credits
      Graham Greene

      Raymond Anzarut .... associate producer
      Carol Reed .... producerOriginal Music by
      Frank Deniz (uncredited)
      Laurence Deniz (uncredited)

      Oswald Morris

      Original Music
      Frank Deniz (uncredited)
      Laurence Deniz (uncredited)

      Fidel Castro's government gave permission for this film, which presents the fallen regime of Fulgencio Batista, in an unflattering light and also condemns American and British meddling, to shoot on location in Havana, only months after the revolution. It was completed during the brief period in 1959 before Cuba had aligned itself with the Soviet Union.

      The comic strip Rock Kent in the newspaper is credited to a Syd Cain. Syd Cain was the movie's assistant art director.

      Filmed on location in Havana three months after Fidel Castro's January 1959 revolution, the script had to be submitted to Cuba's Ministry of the Interior, which insisted that 39 changes be made to make it appear that life during the Batista regime was more unfavorable.

      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.

      Jean Seberg was considered for the role of Milly.

      Brazilian director Alberto Cavalcanti had originally been in talks with Graham Greene about making a film together just after World War II. They had devised an outline story about a vacuum cleaner salesman operating as a spy in the Estonian capital of Tallinn in 1938. This project stalled when they were refused government permission to lampoon the Secret Service. Undeterred, Greene carried on under his own steam, drawing on his experience observing Abwehr (German intelligence service) agents in Portugal during World War II, who had been paid per report and not according to results.

      Alfred Hitchcock was interested in making a film based on Graham Greenes novel. The writer wasn't keen on Hitchcock, however, after his days as a film critic, so he chose to work instead with Carol Reed.

      Cinematographer Oswald Morris deliberately lowered the light levels in the Havana locations to make them more atmospheric.

      Alec Guinness originally wanted to play his character as an untidy, defeated soul instead of a generally hapless non-entity.

      The Cuban scenes were filmed over a period of five weeks, and were frequently interrupted by local Cuban residents getting very excited by all the filming.

      Ernie Kovacs reportedly smoked 25 Cuban cigars every day.

      Shooting at Shepperton Studios lasted 11 weeks.

      Englishman Jim Wormold is raising his daughter, Milly, as a Catholic on the wishes of his estranged wife, although he is not Catholic. Alec Guinness and the book's author, Graham Greene, were Englishmen who converted to Catholicism. Guinness and his wife converted in 1956.

      The car Millie shows interest in at the end of the movie is a 1957 Jaguar Mk.VIII

      Errors in geography: At the end of the film,the aerial footage of the Tower of London has been flipped, resulting in Tower Bridge being on the West of the Tower of London and all traffic driving on the right.

      Continuity: In the sequence where Wormold seeks revenge on Carter, Wormold stands in an alley way, with a window behind him to his left. He shoots at Carter, misses him, and walks quite a distance down the alley while putting on his jacket. Carter then pulls out a gun, shoots twice at Wormold who is walking away. Suddenly, the scene cuts back to Wormold back in his original location standing in the alley way with the same distinctive window behind him to his left. He is now without the jacket he had just been seen putting on while walking away. Wormold then shoots Carter.

      Boom mic visible: While Guinness is talking to the Doctor in his ransacked apartment, you can see the shadow of the boom mic moving overhead.

      Continuity: In the scene where Segura is in the shop with Wormold immediately after Hasselbacher's death (the scene where Segura asks for Milly's hand), Wormold is smoking a cigarette at the beginning of the scene. When the camera angle switches from behind him to in front of him, the cigarette, which he was nowhere near finishing, has disappeared.

      Memorable Quotes

      Filming Locations
      Havana, Cuba
      Shepperton Studios, Shepperton, Surrey, England, UK

      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 7 times, last by ethanedwards ().

    • Our Man in Havana is a 1959 film directed by Carol Reed
      and starring Alec Guinness, Burl Ives, Maureen O'Hara,
      Ralph Richardson, Noel Coward and Ernie Kovacs.
      The film is adapted from the novel of the same name by Graham Greene.
      The film takes the action of the novel and gives it a more comedic touch.

      A good, fine film with special performance from Alec Guinness,
      well supported by some fine acting and beauty from Maureen.
      Maureen's first film for 3 years,
      from a break, after filming The Wings of Eagles

      Also great performance from Burl Ives.
      Ernie Novacs( the sneak in North to Alaska) is there too,
      along with a couple more Brits,
      Noel Coward and Ralph Richardson.

      User Review

      Graham Greene at his cinematic best.
      Author: James Kozak from United States
      This is one of Alec Guiness's best performances. The whole film is understated and takes into account the arid wit of the novel. Graham Greene usually buries humor in dark text that deals with one man's coming to grips with some moral or religious crisis. In Our Man in Havana Greene sets aside his usual level of introspection-made-manifest and dwells upon the absurdity of a small man with a small life that is drawn into circumstances that quite outdistance his usual worldly sphere of experience and expectation. A vacuum cleaner salesman is drawn into a vortex of espionage and intrigue. He has to create from whole cloth scenarios to satisfy his spy-master contacts. Due to his agility at fabrication he becomes regarded as an indispensable operative and ultimately draws upon a well of heretofore untapped personal resources in order to save the day. Guiness, alternating between bewilderment and resolve paints a lovable portrait of a man pinned between a bedrock sense of duty and a stomach-emptying realization of being completely out of his depth. It's a sin and a shame that this film is not available in any format in any country.*
      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 3 times, last by ethanedwards ().

    • Re: Maureen O' Hara- Our Man In Havana (1959)


      [I]Fidel Castro became the leader of the country 4 months before when the film crew landed in Havana. The people were friendly and liked it that Maureen speaks Spanish. Castro came on set to meet the actors, but the most significant meeting, for Maureen, was the meeting with Che Guevara who know well the history of the country of Ireland ... [/I]
      A short video

      Good reading!
      Unconditional's Maureen O'Hara !
      French-English translation: poor !!!

      The post was edited 6 times, last by Romy ().