The Man Who Haunted Himself

The Man Who Haunted Himself is a 1970 British psychological thriller film written and directed by Basil Dearden (his final film prior to his death by automobile accident in 1971) and starring Roger Moore. It was based on the novel The Strange Case of Mr Pelham by Anthony Armstrong.[2]

The Man Who Haunted Himself
Theatrical release poster
Directed byBasil Dearden
Produced byMichael Relph
Screenplay by
Based onnovel The Strange Case of Mr Pelham by Anthony Armstrong
Music byMichael J. Lewis
CinematographyTony Spratling
Edited byTeddy Darvas
Distributed byWarner-Pathé (UK)
Release date
Running time
89 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

In 2011, Moore said his role in the film was his favourite. "It was a film I actually got to act in, rather than just being all white teeth and flippant and heroic."[3]


While 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 Strange Case of Mr Pelham was originally published in 1957.[5]

The film was one of the first greenlit by Bryan Forbes while he was head of EMI Films.[6] The film was announced in August 1969.[7]


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.[8]

Though initial reviews were negative,[9][10] the film is considered by many as one of Roger Moore's best non-Bond films.[11] It has also had many recent positive reviews on internet sites,[12][13][14] including one naming the film as an under-rated classic.[15]

Roger Moore said this was his favourite film from his own work.[16]

DVD and Blu-ray releases

The film was released on DVD format in 2005 with a PG rating. The DVD includes special features including a commentary by Roger Moore and Bryan Forbes.

A new HD restoration from the original film elements was released in a dual-format package on 24 June 2013 by Network Distributing (formerly NetworkDVD).[17] The Blu-ray disc is in a widescreen aspect ratio as was used 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.[18]

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 versions of the model to be built.[19]


  1. "A Tribute to the Man Who Haunted Himself". Den of Geek.
  2. Roger Greenspun (4 September 1970). "The Man Who Haunted Himself". The New York Times.
  3. Barnett, Laura (29 November 2011). "Portrait of the artist: Roger Moore, actor". The Guardian.
  4. "Alastair Mackenzie". Retrieved 20 August 2017.
  5. Loomis, Bill (17 March 1957). "Coroner's Verdict". The Washington Post and Times Herald. p. E7.
  6. McEwan, Ian (15 August 1969). "British Film Czar Plans to Revitalize Industry". The Los Angeles Times. p. D16.
  7. Martin, Betty (30 August 1969). "MOVIE CALL SHEET: 'Summer Look' on Stanley Donen Slate". The Los Angeles Times. p. 16.
  8. City comment: Soon the darkness The Guardian (1959-2003) [London (UK)] 8 Mar 1971: 12.
  9. "The Man Who Haunted Himself". Retrieved 25 February 2014.
  10. Greenspun, Roger (4 September 1971). "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". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
  11. "'The Man Who Haunted Himself' review by Martyn Perry • Letterboxd". 17 December 2012. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
  12. Sutton, Mike (23 June 2013). "The Man Who Haunted Himself". Film, the digital fix. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
  13. "Blu-ray Review: The Man Who Haunted Himself (1970)". Starburst magazine. 23 June 2013. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
  14. "Review: The Man Who Haunted Himself (1970)". Archived from the original on 21 February 2014. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
  15. "Blu-ray review: The Man Who Haunted Himself (1970): Basil Dearden and Roger Moore's lost British classic resurfaces". Movietalk. 23 June 2013. Archived from the original on 12 February 2014. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
  16. "Sir Roger Moore looks back at Hollywood career in new book". 9 September 2014. Retrieved 20 August 2017 via
  17. "Network ON AIR > Man Who Haunted Himself". 11 October 2014. Archived from the original on 11 October 2014. Retrieved 20 August 2017.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  18. "Networkonair > Features > Bringing Back Mr Pelham". 9 January 2014. Archived from the original on 9 January 2014. Retrieved 20 August 2017.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  19. "1969 Lamborghini Islero GTS". RM Auctions. 27 October 2010.
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