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Classic Review Revamp: The Man Who Haunted Himself (1970)



Harold Pelham encounters a duplicate of himself in the aftermath of a car crash. After that moment, his life is upset.




Review

Based on the novel by Anthony Armstrong, with the screenplay adapted by director Basil Dearden (The Assassination Bureau), The Man Who Haunted Himself is both chilling, and need it be said, haunting. Starring Roger Moore (The Man with the Golden Gun) in a weirdly off-type role, the film is both thriller, and supernatural.

Harold Pelham (Moore) is coming home from work one night when he is involved in a car crash. On the operating table the heart monitor shows two pulses briefly, and then all returns to normal. After his return home things change up.

Running at only 94 mins, the narrative leads the viewer down the a rabbit hole of questions, at the forefront, that of the sanity of the protagonist. Dearden - a well established and excellent director - downplays his usual style here. Normally one for big-budget thrillers and action films, The Man Who is a claustrophobic character piece, with a slow beating heart.

And all the more unnerving it is for it.




Moore, who is outstanding, portrays a stiff family man, and also a philandering double crosser, where stuffy Pelham suddenly finds himself having affairs, cheating, gambling, and even dabbling with corporate espionage.

From start to finish it's damn right Hitchcockian, and no doubt would have had his involvement had it been made ten years earlier.

It's a subtle movie, a slow descent into confused madness, that focuses solely on Moore's character, and although not a long film holds the viewer and never gives away too much. Cleverly shown from the point of view of the protagonist, you don't get the satisfaction of getting answers until it is given to Pelham himself.

It's chilling, edge of the seat stuff, from start to finish. It's certainly an exciting addition to the late Roger Moore's catalog, and unmissable for any fan of Hitchcock's filmography.

And it's available on Blu Ray.





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