Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments



Odd Man Out (1947)

 





Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions
Screenshots

Odd Man Out (1947, UK)

In producer/director Carol Reed's searing, taut and suspenseful crime-chase (melo)-drama and noirish post-war thriller with gritty black and white cinematography - a rich character study about a doomed man-on-the-run:

  • the opening crawl superimposed over an aerial view of Belfast: "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 early scene in a cramped row-house of rebellious Irish underground leader and IRA-like nationalist gunman Johnny McQueen (James Mason in one of his best performances), six months after escaping from prison, planning a daring payroll robbery-holdup (presumably in Belfast in N. Ireland) with his compatriots of a factory mill, to fund his underground IRA organisation, while hiding out in the house of his loving girlfriend Kathleen Sullivan (Kathleen Ryan in her debut film) and her Grannie (Kitty Kirwan)
Johnny Suffering From Vertigo Before and During Holdup
Dizzyness
Shot in Shoulder
Murder of Armed Cashier
  • the representation of McQueen's vertigo on the way to the robbery and during the ill-advised, unsuccessful robbery-holdup attempt - the buildings and other passing objects were at sharp angles, his vision blurred, and he appeared delirious; after the heist, McQueen stumbled on the front steps as he approached the get-away car parked outside, driven by hothead Pat (Cyril Cusack), and as he fought off an armed cashier at the mill, he was lethally-wounded in the left shoulder before killing the man; and then as the getaway car sped away, he was unable to fully get into the vehicle from the running board - he fell onto the street and had to be left behind
  • for the remainder of the film, Johnny desperately struggled to avoid capture, and stumbled through the streets of Belfast (disguised) while trying to hide; when not able to make it back to Kathleen's house, Johnny sought shelter in the city's ghettos, deserted buildings, pubs, and back alleys (and even in a junkyard bathtub on the edge of town)
  • as the British dragnet around him closed in tighter, for eight tense hours in a series of expressionistic chase sequences, the increasingly-delirious Johnny was pursued in a manhunt by the police and others for eight tense hours - all with their own motives of either helping him or turning him in to the authorities to claim the £50,000 reward; they included Johnny's girlfriend Kathleen, his IRA buddy-partners Dennis (Robert Beatty), Pat and Nolan (Dan O'Herlihy) who wanted to rescue him (Pat and Nolan were gunned down after informed upon), informer Theresa O'Brien (Maureen Delaney), law-enforcing police Inspector (Denis O'Dea), hansom cab-driver "Gin" Jimmy (Joseph Tomelty), bird-dealer and poor street hustler Shell (F. J. McCormick), forgiving Catholic priest Father Tom (W. G. Fay), bar proprietor Fencie (William Hartnell), crazed, bedeviled, and drunken and eccentric homosexual painter Lukey (Robert Newton)
Various Characters Circling Around Johnny
Inspector with Informant Theresa O'Brien
Hansom Cab-Driver "Gin" Jimmy
Bird-Dealer and Poor Street Hustler Shell
Catholic Priest Father Tom
Bar Proprietor Fencie
Crazed, Drunken and Eccentric Homosexual Painter Lukey
  • Johnny's additional imaginings of faces from conversations of people who he had recently been confronted by, in the bubbles of his spilled beer on the counter in Mr. Fencie's bar, and later in Lukey's studio lined with paintings, Johnny experienced a delirious vision of the paintings flying off the wall
Faces in Beer Bubbles
Flying Paintings
  • in the film's visual religious symbolism of crucifixion, McQueen became a Christ-like figure as a condemned man slowly approaching death - when brought to Lukey's building, McQueen was compelled to pose for the painter for endless hours as a model for a series of Christ paintings; the artist was obsessed with painting the eyes of the dying man as he noted: ("there's something to be said about him before he dies...I understand what I see in him....It's the truth about us all....He's doomed"); he discussed his obsession with failed ex-medical student Tober (Elwyn Brook-Jones), Shell's house-mate, who was attempting to treat the seriously-wounded Johnny
  • the low-angled view of Johnny with a sling on his arm, and his crazed hallucinatory recitation of the Bible (I Corinthians 13) from words he learned from Father Tom as a child: ("I remember. When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I thought as a child, I understood as a child. But when I became a man, I put away childish things. Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels and have not charity, I am become a sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal. Though I have the gift of prophecy and understand all mysteries and all knowledge and though I have all faiths so that I could remove mountains and have not charity, I am nothing"); Lukey reacted: "He's mad, he's out of his mind"
  • in the powerful and violent finale in a very snowy Belfast, girlfriend Kathleen finally met up with Johnny, who thought she was another dreamy vision - he asked: "Is it really you?...If you are real, stretch out your hand to mine"; she rushed into his arms and embraced him; he then asked: "What d'you want with me? Go back to life and peace" - she assured him: "I'll stay with you, my love"; he told her: "Hold up your head. Don't cry"
  • at the sound of a foghorn of a ship announcing its imminent departure at the waterfront, she told him that she had arranged for escape: "That's our chance. Will you take it with me?"; he asked: "Is it far?" and she promised: "Keep holding my hand" - she slowly assisted him to the dock as the police manhunt closed in on them; when he tired and fell back against an iron gate (with arms extended in a crucifix pose), he wondered: "Kathleen, where are you?" - and she responded: "It's all right, Johnny. I'm here"; again, he asked: "Is it far?" - she told him: "It's a long way Johnny, but I'm coming with you - we're going away together"; she reached into her pocket, pulled out a gun seen in closeup, and fired two shots as the police approached closer; they were both shot dead by police in a barrage of return gunfire (off-screen), and expired in each other's arms on the snow-covered ground; the Inspector was informed: "There's their gun, sir" - he inspected the gun: "Two shots fired," and was told in the film's final line of dialogue: "Yes sir, that's when we had to fire back" - the sound of the foghorn (with the departing ship) ended the film as witnesses Father Tom and Shell walked away from the tragic scene
Crucifix Pose Against Iron Gate
"I'm coming with you"
"We're going away together"
Kathleen's Two Shots
Bodies in Snow
("Two shots fired") - "Yes sir, that's when we had to fire back"

Johnny McQueen
(James Mason)


Johnny's Planned Robbery Compatriots, Including Kathleen (in back)

Kathleen
(Kathleen Ryan)


Johnny Left Behind After Robbery - Stranded in Streets of Belfast


On the Run - As a Delirious Fugitive

Johnny Reclining in Washtub

Wandering in Snow


Lukey: "There's something to be said about him before he dies..."

Johnny Posing As Model for Lukey, As Tober Operated


Johnny's Recitation of I Corinthians 13




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