Anthony Armstrong’s short tale The Case of Mr. Pelham began its screen life as the tenth episode in the first season of Alfred Hitchcock Presents in 1955. It was one of a handful of episodes from the first series directed by Hitchcock himself and was suitably memorable as a result. The narrative was designed for the short format of an anthology series, and the foremost question to consider when discussing The Man Who Haunted Himself is whether such a narrative stretches to feature length. The film does suffer from a fair amount of padding, but generally speaking Basil Dearden and Michael Relph’s screenplay maintains a sense of mystery and intrigue throughout, even if the outcome is somewhat obvious early on. For some reason this film has largely been written out of the annals of British horror/fantasy history. In my view this is a travesty, because this is a tense and taut little thriller, that is never less than very entertaining throughout. It is a hidden treasure ripe for rediscovery.
© Shaun Anderson 2010