The Man Who Haunted Himself is a cult 1970 British film directed by Basil Dearden and based on the novel The Strange Case of Mr Pelham by Anthony Armstrong and an episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents that previously adapted the story.
The film is an intriguing and overlooked psychological thriller with a supernatural atmosphere and stars Roger Moore – in between leaving The Saint and starring in his first Bond film – as a successful but uptight and work-obsessed businessman called Harold Pelham.
Driving home from his job in the city one afternoon, Pelham has a very bad car accident that leaves him fighting for his life and a strange incident duly occurs in the hospital.
Pelham is declared momentarily dead and two hearts briefly flicker on his monitor but he recovers and returns home, eventually resuming his job again after a short break abroad.
Back at work though, some very odd things soon start to occur in Harold’s life. Colleagues keep mentioning meetings or conversations they’ve had with him that Pelham has no memory of whatsoever and he is even told he’s apparently agreed to a merger of the company despite being adamant he made no such decision.
Pelham is more perplexed than ever when informed he was clearly seen playing billiards in London on a day when he knew for a fact he was recuperating in Spain.
Is Pelham going mad? The victim of an elaborate practical joke? Or does he really have a malevolent doppelganger attempting to take over his life?
The Man Who Haunted Himself is undoubtedly Roger Moore’s finest hour outside of his long stint as James Bond.
Director Basil Dearden died in a car crash the following year.
Sir Charles Freeman
Charles Lloyd Pack