“In my profession there is neither good nor bad. There is innocence and guilt. That's all.”
Today is the last day of Noirvember! I have had a lot of fun participating in watching great Film Noirs. I chose to watch Film Noirs that I had never heard of before and it has been interesting to watch them. Some of the films have been grittier than the more popular/well know ones and I liked seeing that. To end Noirvember I have chosen Odd Man Out from 1947.
Johnny McQueen (James Mason) is part of an organization in Northern Ireland dedicated to creating chaos to try to bring about peace from political unrest. He has escaped six months previous and has been holed up in the house of a young woman named Kathleen. The organization Johnny works for wants him and a few other men to rob a mill to get money to finance their next attack. Some of the men do not think Johnny is up to the task. Since his escape he has become interested in negotiating rather than attacking. He tells one of the men that he is still up to the task.
The robbery, of course, goes wrong and they are pursued by an armed clerk. Johnny gets into an altercation with the clerk and is shot in the shoulder. He shoots the clerk. Johnny manages to jump into the fast moving car but the driver makes too sharp a turn and Johnny is thrown from the car. He manages to get up and walk away and hide in a basement somewhere.
Now the entire town and all its police force are looking for the seriously injured Johnny. Johnny manages to deliriously walk around the town and get around a few places until he has to be moved over and over again.
I was not a huge fan of Odd Man Out. The story was different for a Noir since it dealt with a man who was guilty of killing someone. Typically, Noirs deal with a man who has been falsely accused of a crime and has to prove his innocence. We root for the character to get away and have a happy ending with a girl. I actually found myself rooting for Johnny to get away and not be caught since he was hurt and because he was hallucinating and also because the other characters were a bit annoying (if that makes any sense). There was just something about either the story or its length that turned me off a bit. Odd Man Out visually and stylistically was a great film. Carol Reed directed this film and two years later would go on to direct the famous Orson Welles Noir The Third Man. Both films make fantastic use of light and dark and shadows to create atmosphere and add tension and desperation. Odd Man Out, despite me not really liking the story that much, is a very good Film Noir visually and one I recommend seeing if you like Noirs.