Review of Odd Man Out (1947)

Moving picture, 116 minutes

Seen in 2017.

A local leader of the unnamed IRA is injured and has a bad night.

Film noir. James Mason is too refined and wooden to carry the role of a nationalist underdog insurgent; this is before real people like that got on TV. Denis O’Dea does much better as the chillingly courteous police inspector, neither dour nor sympathetic. Kitty Kirwan as the grannie is also good.

Roman Polanski’s love of this film is indeed evident throughout Polanski’s own work. Reed’s original is more obtuse than the imitator. This is too stylized, too clean, and in the end, dominated by Christian notions of sin and mercy. A version less divorced from the Troubles would probably have been better.

moving picture fiction