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Worth Buying for Our Man in Havana - Excellent Spy Spoof
on 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.