Rob Price
Gutbrain Records
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2020 May 20 • Wednesday

Roger Moore is always thought of as James Bond or The Saint or, uh, whoever he was in The Persuaders and maybe you've seen him kind of walking through a couple of crappy movies but he could be a really good actor when he got the chance and The Man Who Haunted Himself is a good movie that wouldn't work without a solid performance from its star.

Moore plays Harold Pelham, a middle-aged business man, square, boring and bored, father of two, listless and loveless husband, starched collar, wears the same tie every day, everything regular and conservative and while hardly joyful, taking satisfaction in adequacy.

He has a strange episode while driving on the highway one day. It seems like a kind of possession. He unbuckles his seatbelt and starts driving incredbily fast and recklessly, resulting in an accident that almost kills him.

While on the operating table, he seems to have two heartbeats.

And after that, once things should be back to normal, his friends and colleagues report seeing him and having interactions with him that he knows can't be possible.

His friend plays snooker at their London club with him when Pelham was actually in Spain. But everybody at the club saw them play.

People Pelham has never met before are reacquainting themselves with him. And during a tense business conflict with a rival company, Pelham seems to be working for both sides.

Is there an impostor, a doppelganger, or is Pelham going insane? He undergoes psychiatric evaluation and treatment.

To say more would ruin the movie.

It's a good story, pulled off by excellent camerawork, a versatile and impressive score by Michael Lewis—and by Moore, who is in almost every scene and has to make the movie work by nuanced control of his voice and facial expressions.

The Man Who Haunted Himself came out in 1970, so it's post-Saint but pre-Persuaders and -Bond. Later in life Moore remembered the film as "one of the few times I was allowed to act".