"Odd Man Out" Is Released
Carol Reed's taut character study (disguised as a suspense melodrama) was adapted from the novel by F.L. Green and stars James Mason in his star-making role as I.R.A. operative Johnny McQueen.
Breaking out of jail, Johnny takes it on the lam, but idealism forces him out of hiding in order to raise money for the I.R.A. cause he believes in so strongly. He decides to rob a bank, but the hold-up goes bad and Johnny is seriously wounded by the police. Staggering through the streets of Belfast, Johnny meets a succession of people who either want to help him or turn him over to the authorities. Johnny finally stumbles into a pub, where he is taken in by a homosexual artist (Robert Newton) who wants Johnny to pose for him in order to capture the desperation in his eyes. Johnny breaks free from the artist and tries to make his way to the waterfront in a final effort to escape ... but the police are slowly closing in. ~ Paul Brenner, All Movie Guide
Odd Man Out (1947) is an Anglo-Irish film noir directed by Carol Reed, starring James Mason, and is based on a novel of the same name by F. L. Green.
The film's opening intertitle reads:
"This story is told against a background of political unrest in a city of Northern Ireland. It is not concerned with the struggle between the law and an illegal organisation, but only with the conflict in the hearts of the people when they become unexpectedly involved."
The city and the illegal organisation are never explicitly named in the film, but the protagonist is a chieftain in an IRA-like organization. James Mason plays Johnny McQueen, who is trying to escape from the police after an ill-advised bank robbery meant to replenish the organization's coffers. The film follows McQueen, who has been wounded in the robbery, through an increasingly surreal odyssey over a day and a night. The bleak city (almost certainly Belfast), with its labyrinth of havens and traps, draws Johnny ever deeper into itself as the night wears on.