The Curious Case of Harold Pelham
Harold Pelham (Roger Moore) is as steady as they come; he drives to the office in London each day in his conservative car, his bowler hat and umbrella neatly placed on the back seat and he is the sort of man you could rely upon. Then one day driving home something comes over him and he starts recklessly, racing his car down the motorway which ends up in an accident and for a brief minute on the operating table Harold's heart stops. When he returns to work people start mentioning things he said and he did which he has no recollection of leaving him confused, questioning whether he has a doppelganger and becoming increasingly paranoid.
Is he or isn't he going, that is the question? What I am of course on about is the curious case of Harold Pelham as we question whether he really does have a doppelganger who is his opposite, as in being a bit of a playboy, or is the reliable Harold actually going mad and has in fact a split personality? I'm not going to tell you because rather surprisingly "The Man Who Haunted Himself" is an effective little thriller despite the increasingly implausible nature of the plot. Let me say now that this is one movie which is on a steady climb as Harold's life spirals out of control with each mysterious revelation being bigger than the previous one.
Now with each mysterious revelation we get a look of eyebrow raising confusion from Roger Moore who in 1970 was still a few years away from playing James Bond. But ironically we get a slice of that here when it comes to Harold's personality as on one hand we have the stiff, reliable Harold and on the other we have the debonair playboy. And it is Moore who carries this movie as whilst Hildegard Neil is solid as his wife and Freddie Jones is his usual reliable self as a psychiatrist the rest of the acting whilst not bad is generally forgettable.
But of course the big thing is that "The Man Who Haunted Himself" is a product of 1970. Now on one hand that means for some part of the entertainment will be the nostalgia of seeing London how it use to be with the old London buses with their flat fronts and so on. But on the other we also have some things which now come across as being amusingly cheesy. One such scene for me is a snooker game at the club where it seems no one plays to the rules of the game and all we get shown is a collection of trick shots. Maybe back then audiences were less observant but it does contribute to "The Man Who Haunted Himself" now having a cheesy side.
What this all boils down to is that "The Man Who Haunted Himself" is actually a much more entertaining movie than I expected despite it have an expectedly cheesy side due to when it was made. And to give credit where it is due, it is Roger Moore who makes the movie with his mix of eyebrow acting and playboy persona.