Sunday, 10 March 2013

The Man Who Haunted Himself

Roger Moore’s cult classic thriller.Mhhh

Before Roger Moore had taken on the role of James Bond, he’d found fame as Simon Templar in The Saint in the 60’s and in the early 70’s as Lord Brett Sinclair in the Persuaders alongside Tony Curtis.  And in between he made the largely forgotten about psychological thriller, The Man Who Haunted Himself in 1970.  Directed by Basil Deardon and based on a short story by Anthony Armstrong entitled The Case Of Mr. Pelham, Moore puts in a strong performance as Pelham, a partner in an electronics company who is meticulous in his daily routine.  Looking  every inch the City gent, he drives within the speed limit in his Rover P5B and is so punctual Big Ben set it’s time by him. However, one evening while driving home to Berkshire, Pelham seems to become possessed and puts the accelerator to the floor, weaving in and out of traffic at great speed until, inevitably, he careers though the barriers on the motorway and wakes up in hospital. Upon his return to work, a series of unexplainable events occur, he is accused of ignoring a colleague in a London street while he was holidaying in Spain at the time, gambling on snooker  games at the club when he was at home with his wife and a woman he has met only once claims that they are having an affair. And who is driving the sports car, a rare Lamborghini Islero S, that seems to be following him around? It’s a film that I can’t recall being shown on television for many years now and although released on DVD in 2005, it’s hard to track down, though very worthwhile if you do, so I won’t spoil the ending for you.  Here’s the trailer to whet your appetite! 

For all you trivia buffs, look out for appearances by Anton Rodgers and Charles Lloyd Pack, father of Roger, aka Trigger from Only Fools & Horses. In 1971, director Charles Deardon died in a car crash on the A40 not far from the spot where Pelham is supposed to have crashed at the start of the film. And at one point Roger Moore references James Bond, a full 3 years before he takes over the role himself.

Originally published on 4th March 2011.

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