Hailed for its sensitive treatment of a difficult subject, "Odd Man Out" is a tale of ordinary people trapped in the web of Northern Ireland's troubles. Irish rebel Johnny McQueen (James Mason), maimed and bleeding, weaves an escape route through Belfast's seedy underground while each of his comrades falls prey to bounty hunters and police in director Carol Reed's (The Third Man) classic film noir.
Film noir is a term usually associated with American films of the 1940s and 1950s, but this British classic from 1947 fits the definition in almost every respect. It's one of the milestone films of its era, highlighted by what is arguably the best performance in the illustrious career of James Mason, here playing the leader of an underground Irish rebel organization who is seriously wounded when a payroll heist goes sour. Left for dead by his accomplices on the streets of Belfast, he's forced to hide wherever he can find shelter and refuge, and as his gunshot wound gradually drains his life away, his lover (Kathleen Ryan) struggles to locate him before it's too late. Although the IRA and Belfast are never mentioned by name, this film was a daring and morally complex examination of Northern Ireland's "troubles," and its compelling tragedy hasn't lost any of its impact. A study of conscience in crisis and the bitter aftermath of terrorism, this was one of the first films to address IRA activities on intimately human terms. Political potency is there for those who seek it, but the film is equally invigorating as a riveting story of a tragic figure on the run from the law, forced to confront the wrath of his own beliefs in the last hours of his life. It was this brilliant, unforgettable film that established the directorial prowess of Carol Reed, whose next two films (The Fallen Idol and The Third Man) were equally extraordinary. --Jeff Shannon
This film is a classic from Carol Reed, director of The Third Man. The story covers one day in the life of an IRA gunman who is gravely wounded in a heist in Belfast. Read morePublished on Dec 9 2011 by Dr. Pat O'Neill
Well I am not going to delve into facts expressed more eloquently by all those that preceeded me. Suffice to say that the movie is fantastic, so much so that 25 years since I last... Read morePublished on June 9 2003 by "jalarium"
Belfast is a city of two faces. One city consists of bustling streets and energetic people with ready smiles. Read morePublished on March 16 2002 by William Hare
As an old movie buff, ODD MAN OUT has always ranked as one of my all time favorites, although I hadn't seen it in years until this past weekend. Read morePublished on Jan. 22 2002
This is a fantastic film noir, one of the few from Britain that can be said to be up there with the very best. Read morePublished on May 1 2000 by samivel
A Great and florid story that almost plays like a real life news story.
James Mason is really up to the lead role and the rest of the cast including Robert Newton and Robert... Read more
This is the greatest film I've ever seen. No one I know (of the dozens I've urged to see it) has ever disliked it, and it has become for others, their favorite movie too. Read morePublished on April 9 1999 by Thomas R. Dean