OUR MAN IN HAVANA
1959, Sony Repertory, 111 min, UK, Dir: Carol Reed

Directed by Carol Reed (THE THIRD MAN) and adapted from Graham Greene's novel, this amusingly droll soufflé of a film received only lukewarm reviews upon its initial release, but is more impressive with each passing year. Alec Guinness is single father Jim Wormold, a vacuum cleaner salesman in pre-Castro Cuba trying to bring up his teenage daughter. When asked by fellow Englishman Hawthorne (Noel Coward) to spy for his country, the strapped-for-money Jim accepts, but proves inept at recruiting contacts. On the advice of a friend (Burl Ives), he comes up with a list of made-up characters - and before he knows it, pleased UK bosses send him a secretary (Maureen O’Hara), and rival Soviet agents begin trying to eliminate him. A great, knowing satire about the unreliability of intelligence-gathering, something more prescient today than ever. With the great Ernie Kovacs as the smoothly sinister captain of police.


EAST OF EDEN
1955, Warner Bros., 115 min, Dir: Elia Kazan

James Dean is brilliantly cast as shy Cal, a pre-WWI teenager who can’t escape from the shadow of his perfect brother, Aaron (Richard Davalos). Cal is also a rebellious black sheep who will do almost anything to gain the love of his strict father (Raymond Massey), a desire that may destroy those around him but may also, in the end, offer him his last chance at redemption. With a great cast that includes Julie Harris, Albert Dekker, Burl Ives and a cameo by Timothy Carey. In CinemaScope!


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