The Man Who Haunted Himself is a 1970 British psychological thriller film starring Roger Moore. It is based on the novel The Strange Case of Mr Pelham by Anthony Armstrong.
While driving one evening, uptight City worker Harold Pelham appears possessed and has a car accident. While on the operating table, there appears to be two heartbeats on the monitor. When he awakes, Pelham finds his life has been turned upside-down: in his job as a director of a marine technology company he learns that he now supports a merger that he once opposed, and that he apparently is having an affair. Friends, colleagues and acquaintances claim they have seen him in places that he has never been? Does Pelham have a doppelganger - or is he actually going insane?
- Shortly after the film's release, the film's director Basil Dearden died in a horrific car crash on the A40 near the spot where the character Harold Pelham is supposed to have crashed his car in the opening scenes of the film.
- The story had earlier been adapted as an episode of the TV series 'Alfred Hitchcock Presents'.
- During the scene in which Mr Pelham enters his gentleman’s club, future Scottish darts champion Jocky Wilson can clearly be seen in the group of snooker players that Pelham talks to. Wilson, who was only 20 years-old at the time of filming, was on a rare visit to London to see a wealthy relative who was a member of the club. Wilson was an unknown coal merchant at the time and his appearance in the film is entirely coincidental and un-credited. Wilson’s visit to the club was not with out incident. Later that afternoon, Wilson purchased food from a nearby fish and chip shop and attempted to re-enter the club. However, the steward on the door refused to readmit him because he was drunk and the club rules forbade the consumption of take away food on the premises. Wilson became irate and proceeded to threaten the steward with a battered sausage. The club called the police who then arrested Wilson. Local Magistrates subsequently bound Wilson over to keep the peace for six months.
- Roger Moore ironically references James Bond in the film, when speculating on commercial espionage. He would star in his first bond film Live and Let Die three years later.
After seven years of playing The Saint
Moore grew increasingly tired of the role, and was keen to branch out. He made two films immediately after the series had ended: Crossplot, a lightweight 'spy caper' movie, and the more challenging The Man Who Haunted Himself (1970). Directed by Basil Dearden, it gave Moore the opportunity to demonstrate a wider versatility than the role of Simon Templar had allowed.
Despite lukewarm reviews The Man Who Haunted Himself is considered a very under-rated film by many, the role is considered one of Moore's finest performances among his fans. Moore's dark portrayal in the film proved that there was much more to Moore than the light-hearted roles he is famous for playing.
In 2005, Sir Roger Moore attended a screening of the film in London and delighted audiences by appearing on stage and relating stories about the production.
The film was released on DVD format in 2005 with a PG rating. The DVD includes special features which are: