Our Man in Havana
Alec Guiness, Maureen O’Hara, Burl Ives
Ernie Kovacs, Noel Coward
Directed by Carol Reed
Widescreen 2:35
Originally released 1959
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment 2009
111 minutes

The Our Man in Havana DVD is part of the Sony Pictures Martini Moments collection. This long awaited black comedy about the surreal world of spying was adapted to the screen by British novelist Graham Greene. Our Man in Havana is a comedy of the absurd getting out of hand.

Wormold (Alec Guiness) is a harmless vacuum salesman in pre-Castro Cuba. His daughter, whom he loves very much and cannot refuse anything to, has rather expensive tastes and he has rather expensive plans for her. Wormold is recruited by the British Secret Service as an agent. When his expenses start to be questioned, Wormold starts inventing agents. When pressed for more, Wormold starts making up even more outrageous stories, especially one about the government building what looks like a giant vacuum cleaner in the snowy mountains of Cuba. Unfortunately, everybody takes Wormold seriously and things get really out of hand.

Our Man in Havana is a superb black comedy where the acting, the writing, and the directing all combine for some very subtle humor. There are also many exquisitely subtly funny scenes in this movie.

The cast in this movie is about as absurd as the film itself. Ernie Kovacs as Captain Segura, head of the secret police with a cigarette case made of human skin and Burl Ives as the German doctor whose role is rather mysterious. Guiness is perfect as the British national in over his head and plays the part of the inventive spy perfectly.

If you think the story in Our Man in Havana is too much, ask yourself where Colin Powell got his information on Iraq’s secret weapons.

The Our Man in Havana DVD unfortunately contains no extra features related to the film itself. It does feature a couple of the humoristic Martini Minutes which are an enjoyable plug for the other DVDs in the series, and a martini recipe or two.


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