ODD MAN OUT portrays life in an unnamed city in Northern Ireland via the unlikely narrative structure of the episodic fantasy--that is, in the tradition of ALICE IN WONDERLAND and THE WIZARD OF OZ; it is quite possible, in fact, that it influenced the Jim Jarmusch film DEAD MAN. James Mason plays Johnny McQueen, an Irish freedom fighter who is seriously wounded early in the film. As he wanders about the city in delirium, Johnny becomes a sort of talisman sought after by several eccentric characters for their own purposes, and he is reduced (or is it, elevated?) to the status of fatalistic symbol. The film presents us with an unlikely, outrageous, and irresistible portrait of an Ulster community, filmed by Carol Reed with delicious visual style. Every frame bursts with some brilliant image--the contrast of light and shadow, stunning camera angles, ingenious special effects, and snow in the night. In my opinion, the film rates slightly above Reeds THE THIRD MAN and slightly below his underappreciated THE FALLEN IDOL.