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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

Our Man In Havana (1959)



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In this wry black comedy, Alec Guinness is an Englishman living in Cuba "before the recent revolution," as the film puts it. He is approached by another Englishman who wants to recruit him as a spy, but Guinness isn't at all sure what he's supposed to do. So he makes up his reports. The plot is like an overpowered, misdirected wind-up toy. The first half of the film winds up this ridiculously silly situation, peppered with subtle British humor at its driest. Then the predicament Guinness has worked himself into unwinds in a frenzy, with some rather dark consequences. Mild overplotting is this film's downfall, but its wit is hard to beat.