The Man Who Haunted Himself

The Man Who Haunted Himself
Directed by Basil Dearden
Produced by Michael Relph
Written by Anthony Armstrong (story)
Basil Dearden (screenplay)
Michael Relph (screenplay)
Bryan Forbes (screenplay)
Starring Roger Moore
Hildegarde Neil
Music by Michael J. Lewis
Cinematography Tony Spratling
Edited by Teddy Darvas
Distributed by Warner-Pathé (UK)
Release dates
Running time
89 minutes/ 1h 29min
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Budget £400,000

The Man Who Haunted Himself is a 1970 British psychological thriller film written and directed by Basil Dearden (his final film) and starring Roger Moore. It was based on the novel The Strange Case of Mr Pelham by Anthony Armstrong.[1]


Whilst driving his Rover P5B, uptight City worker Harold Pelham appears to become possessed and has a serious high-speed accident. On the operating table, he briefly suffers clinical death, after which there appear 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 to have seen him in places where he has never been, and Pelham starts being followed by a mysterious silver car (a Lamborghini Islero). Does Pelham have a doppelgänger or is he actually going insane?



The film was one of the first greenlit by Bryan Forbes while he was head of EMI Films.


According to Roger Moore's autobiography, My Name Is Moore, this film was part of a series of small budgeted films featuring star actors working for substantially less than their usual fees. Moore says that the film should have been successful, but amateurish marketing made this impossible.

Box office results were disappointing.[2]

Critical reception

Though initial reviews were negative,[3][4] the film is considered by many as one of Roger Moore's best non-Bond films.[5] It has also had many recent positive reviews on internet sites,[6][7][8] championing the film as an under-rated classic;[9] and has attracted a minor cult following for its unusual plot and (1970) period appeal.

Roger Moore has stated that this is his favourite film from his own work.[10]

DVD release

The film was released on DVD format in 2005 with a PG rating. The DVD includes special features which are:

BLU-RAY release and Restoration

A brand-new HD restoration from original film elements was released in a dual-format package on 24 June 2013 by Network Distributing (formerly NetworkDVD).[11] The Blu-Ray is in 16:9 aspect ratio as shown in cinemas. Special features include - 34 minute music suite of Michael J. Lewis’s original score; a commentary track recorded in 2005, featuring Roger Moore and Bryan Forbes; the original theatrical trailer; four image galleries, including storyboards; and promotional material in PDF format for reading on a PC. An article is available on Network's website detailing the transfer and restoration of the film.[12]

Lamborghini Islero

The 1969 Lamborghini Islero GTS that appeared in the film, registration YLR 11G, sold at auction in 2010 for £106,400. It is one of only five right hand drive cars built of the model.[13]


  1. Roger Greenspun (4 September 1970). "The Man Who Haunted Himself". The New York Times.
  2. City comment: Soon the darkness The Guardian (1959-2003) [London (UK)] 08 Mar 1971: 12.
  3. "The Man Who Haunted Himself | review, synopsis, book tickets, showtimes, movie release date | Time Out Chicago". Retrieved 2014-02-25.
  4. Greenspun, Roger (1971-09-04). "Movie Review - Lust For a Vampire - Screen: 2 Men in Unusual Situations:Teacher Infatuated in 'Lust for a Vampire' 'Man Who Haunted Himself' Also Opens". Retrieved 2014-02-25.
  5. "'The Man Who Haunted Himself' review by Martyn Perry • Letterboxd". 2012-12-17. Retrieved 2014-02-25.
  6. Sutton, Mike (2013-06-23). "The Man Who Haunted Himself | Blu-Ray Review | Film @ The Digital Fix". Retrieved 2014-02-25.
  7. "Blu-ray Review: THE MAN WHO HAUNTED HIMSELF (1970)". 2013-06-23. Retrieved 2014-02-25.
  8. "Review: The Man Who Haunted Himself (1970)". Retrieved 2014-02-25.
  9. "Blu-ray review | The Man Who Haunted Himself (1970) | Basil Dearden and Roger Moore's lost British classic resurfaces | Movietalk". 2013-06-23. Retrieved 2014-02-25.
  13. "1969 Lamborghini Islero GTS". RM Auctions. 27 October 2010.
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