Odd Man Out

1947, Carol Reed, UK

Director: Carol Reed
Producer: Carol Reed
Screenplay: F.L. Green, R.C. Sherriff,
  based on the novel by F.L. Green
Cinematography: Robert Krasker
Editor: Fergus McDonell
Music: William Alwyn
James Mason (Johnny McQueen)
Robert Newton (Lukey)
Cyril Cusack (Pat)
F.J. McCormick (Shell)
William Hartnell (Fencie)
Fay Compton (Rosie)
Kathleen Ryan (Kathleen Sullivan)

Rating: PG Runtime: 116 minutes

This tale of an IRA fighter’s night on the run from the Belfast cops kicked off a rich run of form for British director Carol Reed, who took out the inaugural BAFTA for Outstanding British Film for Odd Man Out. He then repeated that feat twice more in 1948 and 1949 with The Fallen Idol and the iconic Third Man, both scripted by Graham Greene. 

Opening with a helicopter shot over Belfast, and every scene loaded with tension – think pitched shots of bus tyres squealing and jail cell hallucinations. Odd Man Out stars a career-best James Mason trying to survive after a botched bank robbery leaves him shot and separated from the rest of the gang. The subsequent manhunt sorely tests the Republican loyalties of his web of associates and sympathisers. Shot on location, the film conveys Belfast in all of its postwar squalor – scruffy street kids, side-eye glances, smoky pubs and twitching curtains, and the chiaroscuro-lit alleys prefigure the wet glistening streets of Vienna in The Third Man

 “The IRA element is but a catalyst for a subtle, near-metaphysical portrait of a proud man slipping ever deeper into oblivion as the imposing night-time city threatens to engulf him.” – Dave Calhoun, Time Out 


Oct 21 2024


6:15 pm - 8:15 pm