4K restoration of this comedy thriller in which a wonderful Alec Guinness plays a vacuum cleaner shop-owner ex-pat, living in Havana, was recruited by the perfectly casted Noel Coward’s innuendo-proned British Secret Service agent. Graham Greene’s sharp and witty script has immense fun with Guinness’ character’s increasingly desperate attempts to deal with all the lies and deceptions that are making matters spiral out of his control. The dim daughter’s role, written surely for laughs and acted with less charm than a wooden box, often annoys, but it is the disappointing sloppiness of a thrilling but confusing confrontation scene in the end that grates most. Thankfully, a fitting (and quite ahead of its times) satirical ending manages to pull the film back on track.
3.5 out of 5 stars