Saturday, June 30, 2012

Odd Man Out

Just on the heels of a jailhouse break, Johnny McQueen, the leader of an unnamed IRA-like organization, plots a bank robbery to fund his terrorist sect. Wounded during the operation, Johnny falls from the getaway car and scuttles quickly down an alley into an abandoned storefront. Alone, dying, and pursued he now must make his way back to the hideout where his girl waits, and where they can administer medical services and protection. In "Odd Man Out" as was the case  Vienna in his classic "The Third Man", Carol Reed is in love with the shadowy city of the night and again crafts many wonderful external nocturnal scenes, this time in Belfast. In the film that gives James Mason first billing and launched him to stardom, he unfortunately has limited screen time and his top notch portrayal, along with that of some of the other actors portraying IRA figures, gives way to less interesting characters. However, the film does wrap up in a grand and exceedingly bleak fashion. "Odd Man Out" is a well-made thriller that shows off the talents of its leading man in a limited role, as well as the great aesthetics of its ample director.