THE MAN WHO HAUNTED HIMSELF (1970)
Article 4910 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Basil Dearden
Featuring Roger Moore, Hildegard Neil, Alastair Mackenzie
What it is: When you’re your own worst enemy
After he dies on the operating table after a car accident, a man is revived but momentarily has two heartbeats. Afterwards, he begins to hear stories of his having been places and meeting people that he doesn’t remember. Is he going crazy, or is something more sinister going on?
I’d only been familiar with Roger Moore’s work in the James Bond movies, so it’s really nice to see him in a role (or two, as the case may be) that gives him a much greater emotional range; his performance is definitely a highlight of this movie. The movie itself is an exploration of the doppelganger concept, and it does a good job of turning the screws and putting you on edge. It does get a little weird around the edges, though I’m not sure if it’s a good thing or a bad thing; certainly, Freddie Jones’ eccentric performance borders on the distracting, even if our first encounter with him in the movie is one of the more stylishly memorable scenes. The ending is also on the strange side and is open to interpretation, but it did have me hearkening back to scenes earlier in the movie, making me wonder if the character was a split personality to begin with. All in all, I quite liked this one, and I think it will be one that will bear revisiting.