‘Our Man in Havana,’ directed by Carol Reed

Movie, 1959

A curious film, which is neither thriller, satire nor comedy but has a potshot at each of them along the way. The result feels a little downbeat, though reasonably enjoyable, with an odd, jarring ‘Third Man’ dramatic photo composition here and there and the odd moment of real discomfort along the way. More, you feel, could have been made if the film went more broadly into any one of the genres it skips over, or if the sinister edges were perhaps toned down, just a little. It’s solid enough, though not entirely memorable. Perhaps the step into the comedic arena wasn’t as sure footed as it might have been, or the mix with the Cold War – which is treated seriously, in part – is just a step too far.

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