lillusion des sosies: The Man Who Haunted Himself – review

Prior to stepping into the role of Agent 007 and after a seven-year run playing The Saint on television, Roger Moore enjoyed a brief middle chapter in his career. During this, he made what he considers to be one of his favourite films, The Man Who Haunted Himself – available now on Blu-ray from Imprint Films.

After narrowly escaping death following a strange car crash, the life of Harold Pelham is thrown into upheaval by a supposed doppelganger who is meddling with both his personal and business affairs.

Based on the 1957 novel The Strange Case of Mr Pelham by Anthony Armstrong, The Man Who Haunted Himself is a very mysterious story, with little explanation of the plight of our protagonist. However, the narrative gives way to a dark undercurrent that examines the duality of man, but in a more literal sense. Pelham is a creature of habit most comfortable with routine, and while his home life has warmth and stability, there is some tension between him and his wife, Eve, who finds their life together rather dull. When suspicion of an imposter arises, it’s implied that this individual is more adventurous, with evidence of an extramarital affair and an underhanded nature regarding his business dealings. As the elusive fake Pelham becomes more brazen in his activities, the Pelham we’re following becomes increasingly insecure and fragile.

Roger Moore cites the film as one in which he was truly, “allowed to act” and it’s easily one of, if not, his finest performances. His dance between unshakable confidence and a man on the edge of madness is a testament to his ability. The film itself has very upper-middle class quality that suits Moore’s persona, who had always carried himself as being rather posh and well-to-do. Supporting players bring an additional touch of sophistication such as Shakespearean actress, Hildegard Neil as Eve, along with the prolific Freddie Jones as Pelham’s unconventional Psychiatrist. Also, with many British films of the time, there are some Hammer alumni with John Carson as cunning business rival, Ashton, and Thorley Walters who’s easily the most jovial character, jolly drunkard and family friend, Bellamy.


  • Audio Commentary by actor Roger Moore and uncredited writer / producer Bryan Forbes, moderated by journalist Jonathan Sothcott (2002)
  • NEW Audio Commentary by authors Jonathan Rigby and Kevin Lyons (2024)
  • NEW The Man Who Became a Friend – biographer / talent agent Gareth Owen on Sir Roger Moore (2024)
  • NEW The Men Who Were Haunted – interview featurette with actor Freddie Jones and production crew (2024)
  • “Roger Moore, A Matter of Class” – documentary
  • “Alfred Hitchcock Presents: The Case of Mr. Pelham” – a 1955 episode of the series based on the original novel The Strange Case of Mr. Pelham (Standard Definition)
  • Isolated Score audio track
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Photo Gallery
  • Insert reproduction of the original pressbook

Those disappointed with the small selection of special features on Kino Lorber’s 2019 release of The Man Who Haunted Himself will be delighted to see (and hear) a brand-new commentary and two exclusive featurettes. Dynamic duo and aficionados of English gothic, Jonathan Rigby and Kevin Lyons deliver a fantastic audio companion to our feature presentation. As usual, the pair of British authors are informative and fun to listen to as they affectionately talk about the film’s themes as well as the careers of those involved with the production. Equally warm and interesting is Imprint’s interview subject, Gareth Owen, who recounts his working relationship with Roger Moore and shares some insight into how the actor felt about his role in The Man Who Haunted Himself. Running around 30 minutes, The Men Who Were Haunted is a collection of interviews with various individuals who worked behind the scenes on our feature presentation as well as star Freddie Jones. Despite being an exclusive supplement on this disc, this mini-documentary was shot several years ago as many of the subjects have now passed on. – by Hannah Lynch


Nobody does… it better… than StudioCanal of course, who are the seal of quality for many classic British films, and Imprint has rightfully used their 1080p master, presented in 1.75:1 aspect ratio. With firm levels of contrast, the image rarely looks washed out and colours pop during the film’s very psychedelic climax. LPCM Mono 2.0 offers nice volume for the most part, but strangely it does tend to dip for very brief periods. Overall quality is not the clearest compared to many of the other Mono tracks that have been used on previous Imprint releases. Optional English HOH subtitles are included.

The Man Who Haunted Himself remains a fascinating supernatural classic that holds up well against contemporary titles that try so hard to be clever. Available online through Imprint’s website, there’s more of Moore’s pre-Bond work on the way with The Persuaders: The Complete Series and Crossplot – due out on July 17 and August 28 respectively.

(1970, director: Basil Dearden)



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direct blu-ray screen captures



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