Ralph Martin - The Man Who Haunted Himself (Tandem, 1970)
Blurb: Popular and successful, happily married, all his ambitions achieved ... So why did his wife doubt his faithfulness? Why was his best friend sure he had something to hide? Why did his colleagues suspect him of double-dealing? Who -or what -was trying to wreck his life? Associated British Productions presents Roger Moore in Michael Relph and Basil Dearden's film THE MAN WHO HAUNTED HIMSELF also starring Olga Georges-Picot and introducing Hildegard Neil
Adapted from Dearden & Relph's screenplay which was in turn based on Anthony Armstrong's novel, The Strange Case Of Mr. Pelham (Methuen, 1957). Annoyed by his secretary, Miss Bird's flip remark that he's so reliable "we can set the clock by you", Harold Pelham, 33 year old board executive, crashes his Bentley at 110 mph, fracturing his skull and busting an arm in the process. In the operating theatre, the surgeons are startled when the monitor screen registers two heartbeats. For good measure, Pel flusters a nurse by playing with himself while comatose. Let's see if Miss Bird finds him predictable after that little lot!
After a short convalescence abroad, Pel returns to the boardroom to sort out a crisis. The old fogeys are intent on amalgamating with Electronics General Operations (EGO) but he and his young colleague Alexander realise what EGO are really after is a complete takeover of the business. But if he's wise to this, why has Pelham apparently assured EGO bigwigs that the deal will go through? And how come he's being seen all over the City's gambling dens, whipping his fellow stiffs at snooker, winning big at the roulette table and consorting with glamorous women? Julie, a young photographer, even believes she's sleeping with him. This is all very unlike our bowler hatted bastion of Conservative values!
It takes her a while to adapt, but his loyal wife Eva decides she could get used to this 'new' Pel as he is very much the man she fell in love with. Since his father's death in seedy circumstances eight years ago, Harold has been impotent and shown no interest in sex. Now, all of a sudden, he's driving a flashy silver sports car and coming on like the last of the red hot Romeo's! He's even borrowed Jason King's tastefully flamboyant fashion sense.
Whichever way you look at it, Pelham is acting like two different people, but can he really have a doppelganger and, what will happen if they meet?
From the first, I set myself against "literature"; the story was the thing, and no amount of style could persuade me to select a story that lacked genuine, unadulterated horror. For those who wanted something high-brow there was plenty. - Christine Campbell Thomson