Our Man in Havana - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Our Man in Havana Reviews

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½ October 14, 2015
4K restoration of this comedy thriller in which a wonderful Alec Guinness plays a vacuum cleaner shop-owner ex-pat, living in Havana, was recruited by the perfectly casted Noel Coward's innuendo-proned British Secret Service agent. Graham Greene's sharp and witty script has immense fun with Guinness' character's increasingly desperate attempts to deal with all the lies and deceptions that are making matters spiral out of his control. The dim daughter's role, written surely for laughs and acted with less charm than a wooden box, often annoys, but it is the disappointing sloppiness of a thrilling but confusing confrontation scene in the end that grates most. Thankfully, a fitting (and quite ahead of its times) satirical ending manages to pull the film back on track.
March 6, 2015
Original comedy that has a touch of truth and irony to it. Guiness is great and the fact that it is set in Cuba makes it very interesting.
November 9, 2014
There's a lot of shifty paranoia and small laughs in this spy comedy starring Alec Guinness. Guinness plays Wormald, a vaccum salesman who is propositioned with a spy position for the British MI6. Finding no real information or anything useful, Wormald begins creating scenarios and contacts so the cheques keep coming in. Problem is, his coded messages get intercepted and some real baddies think he is onto them, and our fake spy ends up having to become a real one. Throw in Maureen O'Hara as his "secretary", and they have some tense hijinks with a great cast. Our Man in Havana is an underrated spy film with some solid moments.
½ July 10, 2014
Obi-Wan Kenobi is a British ex-pat vacuum cleaner salesman living in a pre-Castro Cuba in this sly spy comedy from directr Carol Reed and writer Graham Green. I'd never seen this film before and know it has something of a mixed reputation, but I found it quite charming. Set in a pre-Castro Cuba. Alec Guinness plays a down on his luck vacuum cleaner salesman who is recruited by the British secret service to spy for them, setting up a network of agents to report to him about the goings on in Cuba. Guinness does his best to set up a team, but when he can't find anyone, friend Burl Ives tells him to simply make up reports to send back, which Guinness does. His colorful reports earn him the notice os British officials, who send him a team of trained agents to work with him, which complicated matters for Guinness and comedy ensures. The great Maureen O'Hara is part of his British team, Ernie Kovacs plays a local police captina and Noel Coward and Ralph Richardson plays British agents. The film has an interesting history, being short on location in Havana right after the revolution with special permission from the Castro government. Author/screenwriter Green has commented that this story did not do justice to the corruption and cruelty of the totalitarian regime in pre-Castro Cuba by the Batista Regime, but that focusing on that did not fit the light satirical nature of the film.
November 27, 2013
Really solid pre-Bond spy thriller, with a little satire and dark humor thrown in. Feels very modern, even more so than the first Bond film Dr. No that came out a few years later. Very cynical picture I feel for its time. I'm interested in checking out more by Carol Reed (also really liked The Fallen Idol and The Third Man).
½ July 30, 2013
Alec Guiness plays a salesman of vacuum cleaners who is reported by British Intelligence but as he has nothing to offer them and needs money he makes things up.
Ironically enough his employers believe him and other agencies believe him and bad things start to take place.

Dry wit and lots of satire. Starring Alec Guiness, Burl Ives, Maureen O'Hara, Noel Coward and Ernie Kovacs. It's sort of interesting but nowhere near as much as people are claiming though I get opinions may differ here, especially with the fanbois/girls who believe this movie can do no wrong.

My general feeling was that the film could not decide on which tone to adapt, bounced around and therefore was unsatisfying in some regards. Additionally, while it was clever in some regards I can't say it was humorous as it intended.

Based on a novel of the same title by Graham Greene, who served in British Intelligence. I suspect I would enjoy the novel more.

STORY/PLOTTING/EDITING: B minus; CHARACTERS/DIALOGUE: B minus to B; CINEMATOGRAPHY: B to B plus; SOUND/MUSIC: B to B plus; HUMOR: C plus; WHEN WATCHED: early November 2012; OVERALL GRADE: B minus to B.
May 17, 2013
graham greene penned carol reed directed gem
May 10, 2013
A snazzy looking adaptation of the Graham Greene novel directed by Carol Reed. The all-star cast and location shooting make this peppy jab at British Intelligence something to look for.
½ November 21, 2012
A warm-hearted Cold War comedy of life--Noel Coward and his Ensemble!!
November 4, 2012
Alec Guinness at his hilarious best.
November 4, 2012
Do you like Alex Guinness? Do you like his winsome looks that say so much more than words ever could? Do you enjoy his effortlessly masterful delivery; the way he entirely believably inhabits his characters? Do you love that thing he does where he's walking away from a character and then he turns back and says something of import, dropped as if it was almost of no consequence whatsoever? Then you'll love this film.

Also starring an ever-droll Noel Coward doing what he does; and Maureen O'Hara adding the noirish romance angle. A special mention must also go to Burl Ives affecting performance, delivered with sentimental panache whilst managing to avoid cliché.

One star only is deducted for the slightly uneven script that tries to deliver a message towards the end but never quite manages; and you wish they hadn't bothered. Ultimately however, this is a minor niggle in a sea of entertaining storytelling from a time when they actually knew how to make good films.
½ July 5, 2012
I did laugh, but this movie needed to be edited and tightened up. It's too long, and at the same time a lot of the character interaction needed to be elaborated on.
April 22, 2012
A classic -- watch it if not for anything else but the checkers game -- but the whole thing is just great.
December 15, 2011
listened to the audio book first and loved it. the movie is fast paced and follows the book quite religiously. however, i wouldn't categorize this as a great reed/greene endeavor....but it is an enjoyable one.....guinness is quite good.
August 17, 2011
I love Carol Reed and his other two adaptations/collaborations with Graham Greene (The Third Man and The Fallen Idol) are amazing, near flawless pieces of classic cinema. Our Man in Havana definitely has some great stuff in it, but ultimately falls short of those other two.
The story is fun and interesting, an English vacuum cleaner salesman living in Cuba with his attractive daughter is approached to be a spy for the English government. But, unable to recruit fellow spy's, or come up with any useful intel, he fabricates things to point where London see him as their best spy and send along help from headquarters, at which his house of lies inevitably comes crashing down around him.
For the most part it's pretty far fetched stuff and I found it very difficult to keep ahead of what was going on. I felt like I kept missing major plot points and there were many instances, especially towards the end, that didn't make sense, or weren't explained properly.
The acting's quite good. Though Alec Guinness is a little too refined and proper to be entirely convincing as a poor vacuum cleaner salesman.
The difficulty of following the story, the various unexplained happenings and the overly cheesy, cop out feeling ending are what hurt my experience of the film. But when it makes sense and is easily followable, it's a lot of fun and features that great Carol Reed direction, with the tall shadows, tilted angles and wet, reflective cobblestone streets that feature in many of Reeds greatest works.
½ March 30, 2011
Alec Guinness plays a vacuum clearer salesman expat in Cuba, who becomes a spy for his country. Unfortunately he has no idea how to be a spy, which is even more unfortunate for the agents he invents. This adaptation of Graham Greene's book is wonderfully funny, I enjoyed it as much as my teenagers did.
½ March 15, 2011
Guinness gives a great performance as the humble salesman who wants the best for his daughter but needs the money to make it so. Excellent supporting roles. A wonderful story that stands the test of time. Well made and can still be viewed now, even in these days where CGI rules everything
bbcfloridabound
Super Reviewer
½ March 11, 2011
This is from the Martini Movie Collection, There are a number of movies I never heard of in this collection. this one called Our Man in Havana. Its hard to decided if this is supposed to be a comedy, a suspense film or drama. This movie filmed in Cuba in 1959, before it closed its doors to America, also by the looks of things was quite rich and beautiful, a vacuum cleaner salesman is recruited to be a British Agent, he makes up intelligence and agents that do exist, everything is going alone fine till Britain awards him a secretary and then his world starts to crumple. A very enjoyable film noir title to say the least. The recipe along with this film is Cuban Martini, and you might need a few to help you enjoy the movie more. 3 1/2 stars for this one.
January 26, 2011
Absolute rubbish, don't know where it was going, is it a comedy, a thriller or just mish-mash of both and a very poor one at that...
½ December 19, 2010
Perfect fit if you're looking for a bit of light classic espionage that feeds the nostalgia hunger but doesn't bog you down with a bunch of cold cynicism.

Guinness is always likeable and is very charming as the slightly hapless, mostly honorable vacuum salesman who stumbles into a role as a CIA operative, conning his way along until he gets in over his head and he has to get real. The always comforting Burl Ives gives good support and O'Hara brings some spunk and weight to the later acts. It's well directed and constructed effectively enough that it feels effortless and is easily enjoyed. It also happens to bring the laughs, and has no problems playing itself into and out of a comedic tone as it so chooses.

This one was meant to be light and fun and act as a bit of spycraft satire, and it squarely hit the mark. Well worth a breezy late afternoon.
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