Our Man in Havana by Carol Reed (UK, 1959, 111 min.). Alec Guiness plays James Wormold, a British expat enjoying a modest life as a vaccuum cleaner salesman in Cuba. When a fellow Brit attempts to recruit him into the British Secret Intelligence Service, Wormold agrees because he can’t turn down the generous paycheck – but he hasn’t the first clue how to uncover political secrets to send back to London. So, he simply invents them. When his made-up intelligence reports begin to have real-life consequences for Wormold and his friends, he must try his hand at espionage (and a whisky-soaked game of checkers) to save them from harm.
Adapted from his “entertainment” novel of the same name, Our Man in Havana draws on Greene’s own experience as a secret agent in MI6. This vocation brought him to war-torn and developing areas throughout Europe and Africa, where he was exposed to a world of political intrigue that would deeply influence his work.
Presented in DCP.