Our Man in Havana

Synopsis: Jim Wormold is an expatriate Englishman living in pre-revolutionary Havana with his teenage daughter Milly. He owns a vacuum cleaner shop but isn't very successful so he accepts an offer from Hawthorne of the British Secret Service to recruit a network of agents in Cuba. Wormold hasn't got a clue where to start but when his friend Dr. Hasselbacher suggests that the best secrets are known to no one, he decides to manufacture a list of agents and provides fictional tales for the benefit of his masters in London. He is soon seen as the best agent in the Western Hemisphere but it all begins to unravel when the local police decode his cables and start rounding up his "network" and he learns that he is the target of a group out to kill him.
Genre: Comedy, Crime, Drama
Director(s): Carol Reed
Production: Kingsmead Productions
  Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes:
111 min

No, thank you.


Pretty girl?

Dirty movie?

Palace of Art?

Atomic pile cleaner?

I didn't know science had got that far.

Oh, it works off the light plug,

the same as all the others.

Did you want a vacuum cleaner?

In a way.

I'll meet you in the Wonder Bar, Doctor.

- Your name?

- Hasselbacher.

- Profession?

- Doctor.

What is this about?

- Nationality?

- German.


What is this about?

I am Captain Segura.

Your papers.

Who was the Englishman with you?

Mr. Wormold, an old friend.

I do not mean Mr. Wormold. The other.

I do not know him. He's a customer.

Very well.

- It's air-powered.

- What?

- Air-powered.

- What does that mean?

Well, what it says, air-powered.

This funny bit here, what's that for?

- That's a two-way carpet nozzle.

- Why two-way?

Well, you push or you pull.

The things they think up.

Do you do pretty well?

There's not much electric power

since the troubles began.

- When?

- About the time Queen Victoria died.

This is a snap-action coupling.

This is a faulty part.

- Lopez...

- Here, let me try.

- You have a pretty daughter. Where is she?

- School.

How old is she?

- Isn't her name Milly?

- Excuse me.

- This is the Midget Make-Easy.

- Make what easy?

The full name is Midget Make-Easy

Air-powered Suction Small Home Cleaner.

- You are British, aren't you?

- Yes.

- British passport and all that?

- Yes, why?

Enjoyed our chat.

I'll be seeing you again. Here or there.

- He never intended to buy.

- What did he want, then?

Perhaps if you hadn't been British,

he would have asked you to get him a girl.

Thank you.

Capt. Segura asked me about that man.

- Segura?

- The Red Vulture himself.

- Did he buy anything?

- He said he'd see me later.

Well, leave him to Lopez.

He can get along without you,

like my patients can get along without me.

People have to get ill.

They don't have to buy vacuum cleaners.

But you charge more.

And get 20% for myself.

You can't save much on that.

- This is not an age for saving, Mr. Wormold.

- I must, for Milly.

- Couldn't her mother help out?

- I don't know where she is.

Give me another daiquiri.

I've no money on me.


- I could manage a small loan.

- It's not that.

It's just that I don't want Milly

to grow up in an atmosphere like this.

Civil war, men like Segura.

I want a whole different life for her.

A finishing school in Switzerland,

a house in Kensington...

and an Anglo-Saxon husband

with 2,000 pounds a year and no mistress.

My worry is a long-term worry.

Then it's not worth calling a worry.

We live in an atomic age.

Press a button. Poof! Bang!


She's been shopping again.

Girls grow up early in the tropics,

even in a convent school.

The teach her things I don't understand.

They've even given her an American accent.

Sometimes when I'm with her,

I feel like a foreigner.

Don't you ever worry about anything?

- I am interested in life.

- So am I.

No. You are interested in a person,

not in life.

But people die or leave us.

I am interested in scientific living things.

Now, I have an experiment which has to do

with the blueness of cheese...

which can be important

and which will never die.

Do you remember the day when she set fire

to Thomas Earl Parkman Jr...

and they had to push him in the fountain

to put him out?

She was only 13 then.

She grew up so quickly.

Sometimes I wish

she'd set fire to someone again.

She will.

And I don't mean in that way.

Everything under control, Lopez?

- Had a good day, Father?

- Not so bad. And you?

I got top marks today in dogma,

and in morals.

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Graham Greene

Henry Graham Greene (2 October 1904 – 3 April 1991), better known by his pen name Graham Greene, was an English novelist regarded by many as one of the greatest writers of the 20th century. Combining literary acclaim with widespread popularity, Greene acquired a reputation early in his lifetime as a major writer, both of serious Catholic novels, and of thrillers (or "entertainments" as he termed them). He was shortlisted, in 1966 and 1967, for the Nobel Prize for Literature. Through 67 years of writings, which included over 25 novels, he explored the ambivalent moral and political issues of the modern world, often through a Catholic perspective. Although Greene objected strongly to being described as a Roman Catholic novelist, rather than as a novelist who happened to be Catholic, Catholic religious themes are at the root of much of his writing, especially the four major Catholic novels: Brighton Rock, The Power and the Glory, The Heart of the Matter, and The End of the Affair; which are regarded as "the gold standard" of the Catholic novel. Several works, such as The Confidential Agent, The Quiet American, Our Man in Havana, The Human Factor, and his screenplay for The Third Man, also show Greene's avid interest in the workings and intrigues of international politics and espionage. Greene was born in Berkhamsted in Hertfordshire into a large, influential family that included the owners of the Greene King Brewery. He boarded at Berkhamsted School in Hertfordshire, where his father taught and became headmaster. Unhappy at the school, he attempted suicide several times. He went up to Balliol College, Oxford, to study history, where, while an undergraduate, he published his first work in 1925—a poorly received volume of poetry, Babbling April. After graduating, Greene worked first as a private tutor and then as a journalist – first on the Nottingham Journal and then as a sub-editor on The Times. He converted to Catholicism in 1926 after meeting his future wife, Vivien Dayrell-Browning. Later in life he took to calling himself a "Catholic agnostic". He published his first novel, The Man Within, in 1929; its favourable reception enabled him to work full-time as a novelist. He supplemented his novelist's income with freelance journalism, and book and film reviews. His 1937 film review of Wee Willie Winkie (for the British journal Night and Day), commented on the sexuality of the nine-year-old star, Shirley Temple. This provoked Twentieth Century Fox to sue, prompting Greene to live in Mexico until after the trial was over. While in Mexico, Greene developed the ideas for The Power and the Glory. Greene originally divided his fiction into two genres (which he described as "entertainments" and "novels"): thrillers—often with notable philosophic edges—such as The Ministry of Fear; and literary works—on which he thought his literary reputation would rest—such as The Power and the Glory. Greene had a history of depression, which had a profound effect on his writing and personal life. In a letter to his wife, Vivien, he told her that he had "a character profoundly antagonistic to ordinary domestic life," and that "unfortunately, the disease is also one's material." William Golding described Greene as "the ultimate chronicler of twentieth-century man's consciousness and anxiety." He died in 1991, at age 86, of leukaemia, and was buried in Corseaux cemetery. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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