OUR MAN IN HAVANA: Noel Coward of the British Secret Service (left) stonily conscripts a mild salesman of
vacuum cleaners (Sir Alec Guinness) as an undercover agent in pre-Castro Havana. That’s the basic joke in Sir Carol Reed’s British screen edition of the Graham Greene novel, and many of its ramifications are funny enough to make the film an item worth catching. At times, however, the understatements are overdone and a curious melancholy takes the edge off the cloak-and-dagger satire. Coward’s performance is a glorious caricature of the impeccable bureaucrat. Also on hand are Burl Ives, Maureen O’Hara, Ernie Kovacs.
PRETTY BOY FLOYD: Another in the recent outburst of pseudo-documentary underworld “biographies.” It pretends to offer a “crime does not pay sermon but actually glamorizes the farm-boy hoodlum (played by John Ericson) memorialized in the title. Rating: fair.
THE HYPNOTIC EYE: No explanation is ever given as to how and why the hypnotist in this horror yarn (Jacques Bergerac) has fallen under the spell of the shapely psychopath (Allison Hayes) whose hobby is the mutilation of beautiful girls. Suspenseful, but implausible.
TALL STORY: A few witty wisecracks and a charming debut by young Jane Fonda (daughter of Henry) are not enough to atone for the silly plot and toowhimsical style of this Hollywood campus comedy. With Anthony Perkins, Ray Walston, Marc Connelly.
TOBY TYLER: Produced by Walt Disney, this is a cheerful and entertaining comedy-drama about a small boy (Kevin Corcoran) who runs away and joins a circus. The picture is aimed mainly at the youngsters but many a grownup is likely to enjoy it, too.
A TOUCH OF LARCENY: An ingenious British comedy, sluggish in tempo but amusing nonetheless. James Mason appears as a peacetime Royal Navy commander who deliberately makes himself look like a top-seciet traitoi, foi complicated reasons involving an enticing widow (Vera Miles). With George Sanders.
THE STRANGLERS OF BOMBAY: Human brandings, the plucking out of tongues and miscellaneous forms of slaughter are among the hideous deeds either seen or heard in this gruesome British melodrama, set in the India of With Rolfe, Allan Cuthbertson.
GILMOUR’S GLIDE TO THE CURRENT CROP
Ben-Hur: Biblical drama. Excellent.
The Bis Fisherman: Bible drama. Fair. The Bramble Bush: “Adult” drama. Fair.
Cash McCall: Comedy-drama. Fair. Eugene Onegin: Filmed opera. Good. Expresso Bongo: British comedy. Good. Flame Over India: Drama. Good.
The story you want is part of the Maclean’s Archives. To access it, log in here or sign up for your free 30-day trial.
Experience anything and everything Maclean's has ever published — over 3,500 issues and 150,000 articles, images and advertisements — since 1905. Browse on your own, or explore our curated collections and timely recommendations.WATCH THIS VIDEO for highlights of everything the Maclean's Archives has to offer.