The Human Factor (1979) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Human Factor (1979)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

This routine espionage drama is based on a novel by Graham Greene about a low-level British informant who is caught in a trap. Castle (Nicol Williamson) has a desk job in British intelligence. Around him are heavyweights like Col. Daintry (Richard Attenborough), Sir John Hargreaves (Richard Vernon), and Percival (Robert Morley) who will cold-bloodedly stop at nothing to do their jobs as they see fit. And Castle certainly is a nobody compared to them. One day when a friend of his in Africa needs some help, Castle is conned into supplying the Eastern block countries with info on demand. No one suspects him because of his low position, but when his office partner is hauled off, Castle begins to rethink his situation. This was director Otto Preminger's last film. ~ Eleanor Mannikka, Rovi

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Nicol Williamson
as Maurice Castle
Richard Attenborough
as Colonel John Daintry
Derek Jacobi
as Arthur Davis
John Gielgud
as Brigadier Tomlinson
Joop Doderer
as Cornelius Muller
Robert Morley
as Percival
Ann Todd
as Castle's Mother
Richard Vernon
as Sir John Hargreaves
as Sarah
Anthony Woodruff
as Dr. Barker
Angela Thorne
as Lady Mary Hargreaves
Paul Curran
as Halliday
Ken Jones
as Messenger
Paul Seed
as Shop Assistant
Chantal Gray
as Stripper
Cyd Hayman
as Cunthia
Fiona Fullerton
as Elizabeth
Walter Hinds
as Van Donck
Tony Vogel
as Matthew Connolly
Norbert Okare
as Questioner
Vicky Udall
as Castle's Secretary
Mike Andrews
as Witness
Leon Greene
as Tall Man
Sean Caffrey
as Policeman
Clifford Earl
as Ferguson
Tom Chatto
as General Phipps
Sylvia Coleridge
as Mrs. Halliday
Denys Hawthorne
as Inspector Butler
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News & Interviews for The Human Factor

Critic Reviews for The Human Factor

All Critics (6) | Top Critics (1)

This rigorous, compelling, radically stylized film represents the end point in a line of development that Otto Preminger had been pursuing since the late 60s.

January 1, 2000 | Full Review…

The first part is the best aspect of the film. The second seems colder and more mundane. [Full Review in Spanish]

August 14, 2019 | Full Review…

Director Preminger was handed his first project in five years, a great cast, and good material (based on a Graham Greene novel), and he came up with this anemic little thriller.

October 23, 2007 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

It remains a well-crafted but rather tedious effort, with only the sparkling performances from its outstanding cast giving the film some spark.

February 26, 2007 | Rating: C | Full Review…

The film is a triumph of missed opportunities, miscasting and misdirection, excused, if at all, by the fact that money ran out and Otto had to hock some paintings to finish it.

May 24, 2003 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Human Factor


Another great film from director Otto Preminger. It takes some time to get into the story, but after a while it becomes intriguing and unpredictable. Great acting, photography and music.

Stefan P
Stefan P

Super Reviewer

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