Odd Man Out (1947)

Imdb Ranking 7.9

"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 organization, but only with the conflict in the hearts of the people when they become unexpectedly involved."

Johnny McQueen (James Mason) has been hiding with Kathleen Sullivan for six months since his escape from prison. He is the leader of the IRA group in the city. Johnny is planning a robbery to obtain more funds.

One of Johnny's comrades, Dennis, notices that Johnny has changed and asks him about it. Johnny says: "This violence isn't getting us anywhere." Johnny says that it would be better to fight their cause in the Parliament instead of the back streets. Dennis offers to take his place on the job; he doesn't think Johnny is up to it. Johnny tells him that if he wants his advice he will ask him.

Johnny with two comrades and a driver rob a mill and get the money but on the way out Johnny has to kill a man, who had wounded him. Johnny falls out of the getaway car and then runs off on foot. Johnny ends up in a small air raid shelter, but hallucinates that he is still in jail. He is afraid that he may have killed the guard.

The other three men try to get back to headquarters but are chased by the police. Pat and Nolan get betrayed by Theresa O'Brien, who reports them to the police. Pat and Nolan are gunned down trying to escape. Dennis is then captured trying to protect Johnny who is able to escape off in to the shadowy streets of Belfast. Two women take him in, and figure out who he is. There is a reward out for him, but the women won't take it. A man comes home and wants to call the police, so Johnny makes his way back out on to the streets.

Johnny enters an empty horse drawn carriage on the rainy night. The diver come back and drives around looking for a fare, not knowing Johnny is in the back. When the driver finds Johnny in the back, he tells him: "I'm not for you, I'm not against you. But I can't afford to get mixed up in this." He helps the wounded Johnny out of the cab and lays him down on the rainy night. A man, Shell, sees him and goes to Father Tom looking for a reward for the information and Kathleen is there too. Father Tom tells Shell to bring Johnny in and he will give him a reward.

Johnny stumbles in to a back room in a bar. Shell tracks him down and a drunken artist friend of his, Lukey also follows. The bar owners have Lukey take Johnny in to a cab with him. They want no part of him. Lukey takes him up to his studio. Lukey's friend Tobey operates and takes out Johny's bullet, while Lukey paints the dying man. Everyone wants Johnny, but all for different reasons.

Shell leads Johnny back out on to the snowy streets, hoping to get the reward from Father Tom. Kathleen meets him, and has him bring her to Johnny, but Johnny has left. She tracks him down and tries to get him on a boat that is leaving. As they make their way to the boat the police close in. Kathleen decides to "go away with Johnny." She pulls a gun and fires, and Johnny and Kathleen both get shot down.

A great, dark, shadowy movie by Carol Reed about a shadowy subject. Johnny McQueen : hero, villain or something in between? Who is in the right? The IRA soldiers killing an innocent mill worker, the people putting up with a foreign occupation and doing nothing, the police trying to maintain order, the people willing to tell on their own for money. It's hard to live in a world not knowing who is in the right and who is in the wrong, and this movie shows that shadowy, noirish world in all its darkness.