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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 25 January 2018
The product reviewed is the 2 DVD Maureen O'Hara boxset including Our Man in Havana (1959) (a film which deserves a five star rating on its own merit) and Lady Godiva (1955), a historical drama with a rather dated feel.

The films are presented each on their own DVD. Both films have English subtitles for those who may need them. Lady Godiva is in colour with a 4:3 aspect ratio, Our Man in Havana is in black and white (incorrectly described as colour on the DVD cover), in a 2.35:1 widescreen format. Our Man in Havana also has German, Italian and Spanish dubbed audio options along with subtitles in these and several further languages (Greek, Portuguese, Dutch, Hungarian). No extra features.

Our Man in Havana is a highly entertaining spy spoof directed by Carol Reed, based on the novel by Graham Greeme, set and filmed in 1950s Havana. Alec Guinness is quite wonderful as the ex-pat English vacuum cleaner salesman Wormold who is recruited into the Secret Service by an agent who has to meet his quota of new recruits, played by the inimitable Noel Coward. Wormold's life is further complicated by his highspirited daughter and the strong willed female spy (Maureen O'Hara) sent to help him gather further intelligence on the enemy agents he has invented so as to have something to report to his handler. It's all good fun with the sting of political satire. Highly enjoyable little film with some excellent acting.

Lady Godiva is rather plodding, if in glorious technicolor. It's only redeeming feature is its leading lady. Maureen O'Hara gives one of her usual spirited performances as a strong willed young woman. If you are a fan of her, you should enjoy this well enough. The only truly memorable moment is the iconic ride of Godiva through Coventry in her birthday suit. Of course, anything that wouldn't make it past the censors is covered by her magnificent tresses. And a skin coloured leotard.

Definitely worth buying for the first film. If you don't have too high expectations, you may enjoy the second one well enough on a rainy Sunday afternoon.
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on 1 May 2015
I bought this after I had finished reading the book for our book club. I had a feeling that is had seen it on one of those Sunday afternoons long ago but when I watched it I realised it was a delusion. It follows the book closely and Alec Guinness turns in a wonderfully understated performance as Wormald the vacuum cleaner salesman. Noel Coward is hilariously camp as Hawthorne the primary agent. It is set in pre-revolutionary Cuba and the tension is palpable throughout the film. The response of the British establishment when it all turns out to be nonsense is funny but dare I say typical of perceptions of the security services of the times. I won't say more than that so as not to spoil the ending
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on 22 January 2018
If you like Alec Guinness then you have to have this film. Guinness is at his best in this classic from author Graham Green; a superb story of espionage combined with wry humour with an unexpected amount of tension and mystery. An exceptional collection of fine actors, Ives, Coward, O'Hara, Richardson, Kovacs… all of whom turn in high quality performances, absolutely no weak links.

The production quality of this DVD is very good
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on 11 August 2017
It starts with a brilliant story - the screenplay being adapted by the author Graham Greene himself - then an all - star cast: Alec Guinness, Noel (the Master) Coward, Burl Ives and so on act their socks off! There's no-one to toych them these days, sadly - all too busy wanting to be liked. It's hilarious and touching and reminds one of the state of Cuba before Castro seized power. Whatever you thought of him, when you see how it was, it's little wonder something had to give. Watch this and read the book. You won't regret it.
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on 17 February 2013
Our man in Havana (Carol Reed, 111', 1959)

Our Man in Havana is a 1959 British film shot in CinemaScope, directed and produced by Carol Reed and starring Alec Guinness, Burl Ives, Maureen O'Hara, Ralph Richardson, Noël Coward and Ernie Kovacs. The film is adapted from the 1958 novel Our Man in Havana by Graham Greene. The film takes the action of the novel and gives it a more comedic touch.
Music by Frank Deniz, Laurence Deniz, Cinematography by Oswald Morris

Plot: In pre-revolutionary Cuba, James Wormold (Guinness), a vacuum cleaner salesman, is recruited by Hawthorne (Coward) of the British Secret Intelligence Service to be their Havana operative. Instead of recruiting his own agents, Wormold invents agents from men he knows only by sight, and sketches "plans" for a rocket-launching pad based on vacuum parts to increase his value to the service and to procure more money for himself and his expensive daughter Milly (Jo Morrow). Because his importance grows, he is sent a secretary, Beatrice (O'Hara), and a radioman from London to be under his command. With their arrival it becomes much harder for Wormold to maintain his facade. However, when they do, all of his imagined information begins to come true. One of his "agents" is killed, and he is himself targeted for assassination. He admits what he's done to his secretary, and is recalled to London. At the film's conclusion, rather than telling the truth to the prime minister and other military intelligence services, Wormold's commanders (led by Ralph Richardson) agree to fabricate a story claiming his imagined machines had been dismantled, bestow honors on Wormold, and offer him a position teaching espionage classes in London.

Casting: Alec Guinness as Jim Wormold, Burl Ives as Dr Hasselbacher, Maureen O'Hara as Beatrice Severn, Ernie Kovacs as Captain Segur, Noël Coward as Hawthorne, Ralph Richardson as 'C', Jo Morrow as Milly Wormold, Grégoire Aslan as Cifuentes. Paul Rogers as Hubert Carter, Raymond Huntley as General, Ferdy Mayne as Professor Sanchez, Maurice Denham as Admiral, Joseph P Mawra as Lopez, Duncan Macrae as MacDougal, Gerik Schjelderup as Svenson, Hugh Manning as Officer, Karel Stepanek as Dr Braun, Maxine Audley as Teresa. Eccellent acting throughout.

Production: The film was shot on location in Havana, just two months after the overthrow of the Batista regime, and on 13 May 1959 Fidel Castro visited the film crew when they shot scenes at Havana's Cathedral Square. Our Man in Havana was positively received by film critics; it has a "fresh" rating of 85% (with 13 reviews) at the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes. While not quite matching Reed's own The Third Man, it is an established long term top of its kind.

226 - Our man in Havana (Carol Reed, 111', 1959) -Sly spy classic - 17/2/2013
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on 27 March 2017
Read the book many years ago and loved it. Having recently visited Cuba, it was fascinating to see many recognisable locations. Filmed just after the overthrow of Batista by Castro et al but before Cuba descended into the repressive socialist state that ensued. The plot is of course a wonderful satire and Alec Guinness as Wormold is perfect.
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on 22 January 2015
This film was recommended in a recent BBC4 programme reviewing crime/ spy films. I bought several of these films. This particular one I thought was ok but not brilliant. There were many good actors but Noel Coward still plays his camp style and un-natural behaviour and perhaps this character should have been played by a more straight actor. The film was probably value for money but it is debateable whether I should have even spent less than £4 on it. This film could have been excellent like Ring of Spies or Jigsaw.
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on 4 February 2017
Supposedly taking place before Castro took power, but according to Wikipedia, filmed afterward, this is a pretty good spy story. To see downtown Havana with brand-new looking American cars (when they still had their original American-made engines inside !!) is really cool. Good story, with an ending that still holds up today. Some have said Carol Reed had done better, but I liked it.
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on 3 March 2016
I was struck by the similarities in looks between Alec Guiness and Kevin Spacey. The whole thing is marvellously dated and none the worse for that. Maureen O'Hara was very beautiful. Noel Coward as the archetypal British spy, no foreign counter espionage service could ever have spotted him! Brillo nostalgia!
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on 1 April 2011
A very good British comedy/thriller with a great cast including Alec Guiness, Ralph Richardson, Noel Coward and Burl Ives, from the novel by Graham Greene. The idea of 'our spy' who was nothing more than a vacuum cleaner salesman with his made up 'spy ring' actually had a real life variation in World War 2 with our fake spy, 'Garbo'.

The '2nd feature', 'Lady Godiva', (on the sleeve), 'Lady Godiva of Coventry' on the film itself, was an interesting old curio for three reasons; 1, Lady G being played by Maureen O'Hara; 2, Old Coventry being re-constructed somewhere in America, and 3, a very short speaking part for a very young Clint Eastwood, cast as. 'First Saxon'! See if you can spot him as first bowman.

All in all, a very good buy. Gordon Thomas, of Coventry.
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