The Man Who Haunted Himself – Roger Moore’s dark side

This old psychological drama movie from 1970 was a pleasant little surprise. Roger Moore plays a company executive who, for reasons unknown, begins driving like a mad man on the streets of London, resulting in a crash and a spell in a coma. After waking up he begins to encounter clues that someone is impersonating him in his work place and social life. Is he suffering memory loss?

The basic plot isn’t particularly fantastic and the ending is pretty lame, but there are many very good scenes in this film that crank up the schizoid feel to Hitchcock levels. Like the main character, Roger Moore is allowed to show his rarely seen alternative side – as in not James Bond or equivalent – and he’s actually a really good actor, playing both Mr stiff-upper lip executive with marital / sexual problems and Mr evil boardroom shark / gambler.

Add to all this a parallel plot of Moore’s evil double infiltrating and manipulating a large company to secure a strong takeover bid of his own company and you have a film that craftily weaves a message about the self-imposed split personality paradigm which hungry businessmen often seek to inhabit.

Although this film was made three year’s before Moore first played James Bond in Live and Let Die, there’s a crystal ball gag in which his character jokes that the world of espionage isn’t all James Bond and gadgets.


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