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Odd Man Out


misswonderly3
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This was the third film aired last night on TCM's  James Mason evening.  (By the way, what was the deal with that? It wasn't his birthday - or even his death day - or anything...)

 

I wish they'd shown Odd Man Out earlier, I suspect some may have skipped it because of its late air time  (midnight.)  Too bad. I would say Odd Man Out is way up there in the list of great British films. Even though it was late, I never got sleepy once - it held my attention from start to finish.

 

 James Mason is billed as the star of the film, playing Johnny McQueen, an IRA type leader who gets wounded in a robbery his "organization" has planned, but I would say the real stars of this film are all the interesting, quirky, Irish people who encounter him as he stumbles around the dark rainy streets of Belfast. There are loads of little cameos of ordinary folk interacting with Johnny, some wanting to help him, some planning to hand him over to the police, some wanting to paint his portrait ( a tad difficult when the portrait subject is unconscious), others hoping to save his soul - and one in love with him.

 

The film is a thing of beauty , with some of the most visually arresting black and white cinematography I've ever seen ( and I've seen a lot, baby.)  Some of it is filmed on location in Belfast, and you get a real sense of what this Northern Ireland city was like in the early years after the war.  

There's one scene in particular that's unforgettable: Johnny is dragged by a well-meaning (maybe) cabbie to what looks like a cross between a rail yard and a cemetery monument warehouse. He collapses onto a broken fence, and the camera moves back to reveal a magnificent stone angel, looking indifferently down on him. There's a lot of imagery like that in the film, the meaning of which you can take or leave, since Odd Man Out  works equally well as an allegory about humanity and a man struggling outside the law  ( eek, that sounds a bit grand and pretentious)  and as just a great suspense story.

 

oddman4.jpg

 

Looks a little like "The Third Man"?

Directed by the same guy, Carol Reed

 

I really recommend this deeply moving film. It's by turns exciting, sad, and even at times, funny. 

Anyone else catch it?

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This was the third film aired last night on TCM's  James Mason evening.  (By the way, what was the deal with that? It wasn't his birthday - or even his death day - or anything...)

 

I wish they'd shown Odd Man Out earlier, I suspect some may have skipped it because of its late air time ( midnight.)  Too bad. I would say Odd Man Out is way up there in the list of great British films. Even though it was late, I never got sleepy once - it held my attention from start to finish.

 

Even though James Mason is billed as the star of the film, playing Johnny McQueen, an IRA type leader who gets wounded in a robbery his "organization" has planned, I would say the real stars of this film are all the interesting, quirky, Irish people who encounter him as he stumbles around the dark rainy streets of Belfast. There are loads of little cameos of ordinary folk interacting with Johnny, some wanting to help him, some planning to hand him over to the police, some wanting to paint his portrait ( a tad difficult when the portrait subject is unconscious), others hoping to save his soul - and one in love with him.

 

The film is a thing of beauty , with some of the most visually arresting black and white cinematography I've ever seen ( and I've seen a lot, baby.)  Some of it is filmed on location in Belfast, and you get a real sense of what this Northern Ireland city was like in the early years after the war.  

There's one scene in particular that's unforgettable: Johnny is dragged by a well-meaning (maybe) cabbie to what looks like a cross between a rail yard and a cemetery monument warehouse. He collapses onto a broken fence, and the camera moves back to reveal a magnificent stone angel, looking indifferently down on him. There's a lot of imagery like that in the film, the meaning of which you can take or leave, since Odd Man Out  works equally well as an allegory about humanity and a man struggling outside the law  ( eek, that sounds a bit grand and pretentious)  and as just a great suspense story.

 

 

 

Looks a little like "The Third Man"?

Directed by the same guy, Carol Reed

 

I really recommend this deeply moving film. It's by turns exciting, sad, and even at times, funny. 

Anyone else catch it?

 

I had seen parts of Odd Man Out (e.g. I recall the bar scene),  but never the entire film at one time.  Well since I'm on the west coast my wife and I watched the entire film (with our eyes open, ha ha).    

 

Love your write up here.    Yea, I was impressed by the entire film, the visuals,  acting,  vibe,,,,.     Maybe I'm too much of a romantic but when the painting scene ends I was surprised that the painter didn't realize his vision.   Instead the painting is thrown on the ground so I assume the painter failed to accomplish this vision.    Yea,  I didn't need to see the painting (that might be pushing it),  but I was looking for the painter to say something like 'look at those eyes,,,  I got it!'. 

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I saw the first 2/3 last night, then hit the record button.  So I'll finish tonight and then I can comment on the movie itself.

 

This was the first time that I ever saw a movie and guessed the cinematographer.  It was Australian Robert Krasker.  I had this figured out because of the TCM Message Board.  I watched "Brief Encounter" last fall and commented that I loved the look of the film and that it reminded me of "The Third Man."  Somebody replied that both movies had the same cinematographer (Kraskey).

 

So last night, when I saw the scenes set in deep shadows and the scenes with the camera askew, I thought to myself, "I bet this was the same guy".  I was right.

 

Now I want to see some of his other films.  Here is a link to the list...  link  Any suggestions?

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I've always felt that the story of Johnny McQueen has a

definite passion of Christ vibe to it as he just barely walks

around the streets of the city from one "station" to the next,

and being used by most everyone he comes across for

their own ends. I've seen it four or five times and it is a

true classic IMHO. A minor disappointment is that Kathleen

only gets off two shots at the lime eaters at the end instead

of all six. But I can live with that. :)

 

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I've always felt that the story of Johnny McQueen has a

definite passion of Christ vibe to it as he just barely walks

around the streets of the city from one "station" to the next,

and being used by most everyone he comes across for

their own ends.

I've seen it four or five times and it is a

true classic IMHO. A minor disappointment is that Kathleen

only gets off two shots at the lime eaters at the end instead

of all six. But I can live with that. :)

 

Vautrin, thank you for saying with such clarity what I was trying to say (that pretentious statement I made about "humanity against one man" or whatever I said.)

I bolded the first part of your post here because you said exactly what I wanted to say about the film. There's a lot of Christ imagery in Odd Man Out, shots of Johnny suffering, half-dead, with his arms outspread. 

 

And yeah, he does stumble around the city, stopping at various "stations". I wonder if there are 14 of them? Next time I'll have to count.

 

As for Kathleen, the actress was also named Kathleen. Kathleen Ryan. Too bad she doesn't get a little more screen time - she's very beautiful. I'd never heard of or seen her before.

 

SPOILER

 

As for the two shots at the film's end, I thought she simply shot the gun into the air, in order to draw attention and fire from the approaching police. She did this so the police would shoot  both her and Johnny, a slightly different matter than turning the gun on him herself.  She knew when the police heard the shots, they'd shoot back and thus kill them both, which is what Kathleen wanted.

 

It  reminded me a little of the ending of Gun Crazy, you know, when Bart and Laurie know they're surrounded by the police and haven't a chance. Partly to prevent Laurie from killing any of the police, and partly because he thinks it's the best way to go, Bart wrests the gun from Laurie and shoots it into the air, knowing the police will shoot back and so end it for them.

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This is one I always wanted to see but for some reason always seem to miss.

 

I'll recuse myself from this thread until I have( if the thread still survives)  as it seems if I read ALL the posts, I won't WANT to watch it as there'll be no surprises.

 

 

Sepiatone

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Vautrin, thank you for saying with such clarity what I was trying to say (that pretentious statement I made about "humanity against one man" or whatever I said.)

I bolded the first part of your post here because you said exactly what I wanted to say about the film. There's a lot of Christ imagery in Odd Man Out, shots of Johnny suffering, half-dead, with his arms outspread. 

 

And yeah, he does stumble around the city, stopping at various "stations". I wonder if there are 14 of them? Next time I'll have to count.

 

As for Kathleen, the actress was also named Kathleen. Kathleen Ryan. Too bad she doesn't get a little more screen time - she's very beautiful. I'd never heard of or seen her before.

 

SPOILER

 

As for the two shots at the film's end, I thought she simply shot the gun into the air, in order to draw attention and fire from the approaching police. She did this so the police would shoot  both her and Johnny, a slightly different matter than turning the gun on him herself.  She knew when the police heard the shots, they'd shoot back and thus kill them both, which is what Kathleen wanted.

 

It  reminded me a little of the ending of Gun Crazy, you know, when Bart and Laurie know they're surrounded by the police and haven't a chance. Partly to prevent Laurie from killing any of the police, and partly because he thinks it's the best way to go, Bart wrests the gun from Laurie and shoots it into the air, knowing the police will shoot back and so end it for them.

 

I also assume she shot the gun into the air.   The film starts with Johnny wondering if the use of violence was justified and 'worth it'.   After the robbery he keeps asking people if the man he shot died.  Clearly Johnny wanted to avoid killing and she knew this.   In no way would she violate those values and shoot at the police. 

 

I was very surprised that she decided to die with Johnny.    That was what the Priest and the 'good' cop were trying to prevent.   Not sure if I was the director I would have ended the film that way,  but I did shed a tear and the ending impacted me emotionally and that is what an ending should do, so from that POV it was perfect.

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Kathleen Ryan also plays the lead in Try and Get Me, a first-rate film noir directed by Cy Endfield (Zulu). Endfield's one of the best directors most of us have never heard of. Ryan plays the loving wife of Frank Lovejoy, who gets into as much trouble as poor Johnny McQueen did in Odd Man Out, thanks to the villainy of Lloyd Bridges. TCM has shown this film.

 

The Robert Krasker filmography is very impressive, just by quality of films. Some you might try include Henry V, Olivier's wonderful re-creation of Shakespeare; Cry, the Beloved Country, an excellent film directed by Zoltan Korda and shot on location in South Africa; Luchino Visconti's Senso; and the Joseph L. Mankiewicz version of The Quiet American. Trapeze is nowhere on the level of the best Carol Reed films, but it is a lot of fun.

 

I love Vautrin's mention of the Stations of the Cross in Odd Man Out. Each encounter tells us more about the other people involved, many of whom want something from Johnny McQueen. The cast is wonderful: James Mason at his best; Cyril Cusack as the driver of the getaway car (I love all of his performances); Fay Compton as Rose, the woman who tries to bandage his wounds (I love all of her work, too); Robert Newton as the painter (Long John Silver as a painter; this makes so much sense); the many fine actors from the Abbey Theater.

 

Because W.G. Fay is so believable as Father Tom, I wish he had played all of Barry Fitzgerald's roles in Hollywood. His work is as honest as Fitzgerald's usually isn't (sez me). F.J. McCormick is perfect as Shell, the horse cab driver, and then there are the actresses who play Theresa (Maureen Delaney) and Grannie (Kitty Kirwan), equally fine.

 

Ben mentioned that Odd Man Out had won an Oscar for editing (much deserved). William Alwyn's music also makes a sizeable contribution to the film. The script is fair-minded, with the British inspector (nicely played by the handsome Denis O'Dea) able to extend sympathy and, implicitly, love to Kathleen without betraying his duty. John Ford's The Informer, though effective in a heavy-handed way, looks awfully crude by comparison.

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Vautrin, thank you for saying with such clarity what I was trying to say (that pretentious statement I made about "humanity against one man" or whatever I said.)

I bolded the first part of your post here because you said exactly what I wanted to say about the film. There's a lot of Christ imagery in Odd Man Out, shots of Johnny suffering, half-dead, with his arms outspread. 

 

And yeah, he does stumble around the city, stopping at various "stations". I wonder if there are 14 of them? Next time I'll have to count.

 

As for Kathleen, the actress was also named Kathleen. Kathleen Ryan. Too bad she doesn't get a little more screen time - she's very beautiful. I'd never heard of or seen her before.

 

SPOILER

 

As for the two shots at the film's end, I thought she simply shot the gun into the air, in order to draw attention and fire from the approaching police. She did this so the police would shoot  both her and Johnny, a slightly different matter than turning the gun on him herself.  She knew when the police heard the shots, they'd shoot back and thus kill them both, which is what Kathleen wanted.

I'm guessing the Christ like imagery throughout the film was noticed

immediately by quite a few people. I'm also guessing that Reed

saw it as he was filming, and maybe even highlighted it, though I

haven't read anything specific about that. Everything about this

film is close to perfect. On a somewhat lighter note, it is also a

look at the underbelly of a large city containing some of the

eccentrics one might suspect to find there.

 

I guess Kathleen's final shots at the end are somewhat ambiguous.

The plot summary in the Wiki article only mentions that she fires

the shots. I can see the idea that she only fired the shots in the

air to draw the policemen's fire so she can die with Johnny, but

I personally prefer to think she was an Irish rebel girl who fired

at the policemen.

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I finished the movie last night.

 

I loved it!  I agree with other posters who have said that the main character was the people/streets of Dublin.  Great characters encountered along the way and it is interesting to see their motivations for getting involved.  I think Shell's motivations were pretty fluid and shifted throughout the film.

 

I didn't read any of the Jesus comments until after I watched the movie, so I hadn't thought of that.  Next time I see it, I'll pay closer attention.

 

Right now my 3 favorite British films of the 1940's are (in no particular order):

Odd Man Out

The Third Man

Brief Encounter

 

As I said in my earlier post, these all have Robert Krasker as their cinematographer.  He definitely brings a film noir to his work and does such interesting things with shadows and skewed camera angles.

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I'm guessing the Christ like imagery throughout the film was noticed

immediately by quite a few people. I'm also guessing that Reed

saw it as he was filming, and maybe even highlighted it, though I

haven't read anything specific about that. Everything about this

film is close to perfect. On a somewhat lighter note, it is also a

look at the underbelly of a large city containing some of the

eccentrics one might suspect to find there.

 

I guess Kathleen's final shots at the end are somewhat ambiguous.

The plot summary in the Wiki article only mentions that she fires

the shots. I can see the idea that she only fired the shots in the

air to draw the policemen's fire so she can die with Johnny, but

I personally prefer to think she was an Irish rebel girl who fired

at the policemen.

 

Of course I noticed the Christ like imagery throughout the film;   My own interpretation was this was done to say 'see how Christian these folks are,,,,  killing each other because they belong to two different Christian sects'.

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Of course I noticed the Christ like imagery throughout the film;   My own interpretation was this was done to say 'see how Christian these folks are,,,,  killing each other because they belong to two different Christian sects'.

That's certainly a possibility. I guess one could divide interpretations

of this film into two categories--the political, religious, or social ones

and the individual and personal struggles of McQueen, though there

could be some overlap too. 

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I wish they'd shown Odd Man Out earlier, I suspect some may have skipped it because of its late air time  (midnight.)  Too bad. I would say Odd Man Out is way up there in the list of great British films. Even though it was late, I never got sleepy once - it held my attention from start to finish. 

Me, too. I was asleep, though, before it even aired. I have wanted to see this film for years. I never DVR films because I never get around to watching them. Maybe next time...

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I finished the movie last night.

 

I loved it!  I agree with other posters who have said that the main character was the people/streets of Dublin.  Great characters encountered along the way and it is interesting to see their motivations for getting involved.  I think Shell's motivations were pretty fluid and shifted throughout the film.

....

 

 

 starkhome, thanks for your thoughtful comments about Odd Man Out.

 

I do want to make one small correction, and I hope you won't be offended by it and think I'm slapping your wrists like some picayune school teacher who's missing the point some bright student has made.

 

It's not actually Dublin, it's Belfast.  I looked up the details about the filming of OMO, and saw that a lot of the location shooting was in Belfast. The film itself never states where exactly its events take place, it just says something about "some city in Northern Ireland".

 

It's understandable you'd think it was Dublin, since that is probably the most famous city on the entire island of Ireland. However, most of the underground rebellion type strife had been settled in Dublin by 1947. Dublin is in The Republic of Ireland, which is an independent state  ( and I think was even in 1947 .)

 

Northern Ireland is a whole other story, which I won't go into because it would be a long and probably tedious read, plus I know very little about it. I do know, however, that the city of Belfast is in Northern Ireland, which is where most of the "troubles" concerning the Irish Republican Army occurred. Belfast even has a guided tour these days which takes you through many of the historic sites where the various "actions"  (most of them very violent, on both sides of the struggle) occurred.

 

Again, sorry, I blathered on here much more than I intended, and I am no expert on the history of the struggles of Ireland, both North and South.  This is all probably pretty boring.

But I thought it was worth pointing out that the setting for Odd Man Out would have been somewhere in Northern Ireland, as opposed to Eire, or the Republic of Ireland, because from about 1920 on,most of the "troubles" in Ireland were in the North.  And Johnny McQueen headed a group of IRA - type rebels who would have been protesting in Northern Ireland - probably Belfast.

 

Not that the film really concentrates on that aspect of the story - it could really have been about someone like Johnny anywhere there was a secret rebel group on the wrong side of the law.

 

Hey, as I said, I know very little about all this. I even once thought that Ulster was a city in Northern Ireland, when in fact it's a region, sort of like a province.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Reed wanted to use the original ending of the book, in which Agnes (Kathleen in the film) kills Johnny and then herself, but the American censors (The Hays Production Code was in full force) told him that they would not allow it to be released in the States with that ending.  They objected to the film's heroine being both a murderess and a suicide.  So, Reed has Kathleen commit suicide/homicide by cop.  Actually, Reed claimed that he tried to fool the censors by having her shoot into the ground, but I've watched OMO many times and it does seem to me that she is shooting in the direction of the police.

 

As for the "meaning" or message of the film, it is quite obvious and stated baldly (and beautifully) by Mason when he quotes the passage from Corinthians.  The source of morality is love (charity) for each other, evidenced in our treatment of each other, especially when a person is in extremis, which Johnny clearly is.  Johnny's tragedy unfolds relentlessly, as all who encounter him want either nothing to do with him or want to use him in some way.  Mason confirmed this interpretation in an interview.

 

The Christian symbolism is pretty explicit - Johnny's walk to his death is his own via dolorosa, he falls three times, as he is spread-eagled to the fence, one cannot help but see him as a Christlike figure.  And certainly, the lovely score by Alwyn, with its three themes, emphasizes Johnny's theme, which is a funeral dirge.

 

I disagree that the character of Johnny McQueen is somehow less important than the cinematography and other characters.  Johnny is the still heart of this movie and unimaginable without Mason.  Even when he doesn't speak, he dominates every scene he's in.  

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Reed wanted to use the original ending of the book, in which Agnes (Kathleen in the film) kills Johnny and then herself, but the American censors (The Hays Production Code was in full force) told him that they would not allow it to be released in the States with that ending.  They objected to the film's heroine being both a murderess and a suicide.  So, Reed has Kathleen commit suicide/homicide by cop.  Actually, Reed claimed that he tried to fool the censors by having her shoot into the ground, but I've watched OMO many times and it does seem to me that she is shooting in the direction of the police.

 

As for the "meaning" or message of the film, it is quite obvious and stated baldly (and beautifully) by Mason when he quotes the passage from Corinthians.  The source of morality is love (charity) for each other, evidenced in our treatment of each other, especially when a person is in extremis, which Johnny clearly is.  Johnny's tragedy unfolds relentlessly, as all who encounter him want either nothing to do with him or want to use him in some way.  Mason confirmed this interpretation in an interview.

 

The Christian symbolism is pretty explicit - Johnny's walk to his death is his own via dolorosa, he falls three times, as he is spread-eagled to the fence, one cannot help but see him as a Christlike figure.  And certainly, the lovely score by Alwyn, with its three themes, emphasizes Johnny's theme, which is a funeral dirge.

 

I disagree that the character of Johnny McQueen is somehow less important than the cinematography and other characters.  Johnny is the still heart of this movie and unimaginable without Mason.  Even when he doesn't speak, he dominates every scene he's in.  

 

So did Johnny think that Kathleen would go as far as killing herself if she couldn't be with Johnny.    I ask because if the "source of morality is love (charity) for each other"  then as an act of charity towards Kathleen Johnny should have turned himself in or killed himself.

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Kathleen is in love with Johnny, but there is no evidence (either in the book or in the film) that he is in love with her.  I doubt that he thinks much about her at all, as he is intent upon re-establishing himself as the leader after several months in prison and also in planning and carrying out the raid on the mill.  He would have had no way of knowing her intentions with regard to finding him and, if unable to help him to escape, killing him so the police didn't get him.  At the book's ending, there is a hint that he may have had some sexual feelings toward her, but only a hint as he dies.  There is no such suggestion in the film.  It is only suggested that in his semi-delirious condition, he welcomes her familiar voice and presence.  I hate to disappoint the romantics among us, but this is not the story of a love between a man and a woman.  It is a story about love and its absence.

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Kathleen is in love with Johnny, but there is no evidence (either in the book or in the film) that he is in love with her.  I doubt that he thinks much about her at all, as he is intent upon re-establishing himself as the leader after several months in prison and also in planning and carrying out the raid on the mill.  He would have had no way of knowing her intentions with regard to finding him and, if unable to help him to escape, killing him so the police didn't get him.  At the book's ending, there is a hint that he may have had some sexual feelings toward her, but only a hint as he dies.  There is no such suggestion in the film.  It is only suggested that in his semi-delirious condition, he welcomes her familiar voice and presence.  I hate to disappoint the romantics among us, but this is not the story of a love between a man and a woman.  It is a story about love and its absence.

 

So the story isn't about "source of morality is love (charity) for each other, evidenced in our treatment of each other,,,",  but instead a one side delusional love that resulted in the suicide of the only person that was in love.    Yea, that isn't romantic but instead pathetic.

 

Maybe the film should have been called Odd Women Out.

 

PS: while I enjoyed the film and believe it very well made,  I didn't like the ending because I find that type of weakness very unappealing. 

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"I find that type of weakness very unappealing."  I don't understand this statement.  What weakness?  Whose weakness?

 

Kahleen's love for Johnny is not delusional.  She knows that he doesn't return her love.  Give the guy a break!  He is defending his leadership against Dennis'  challenge to it and he is preparing to lead a raid on the mill that he has been organizing for several months.  He is focused on his cause, his mission, and its operation.  A motto of the IRA was "once in, never out."  Kathleen would be familiar with this, and refers to it when she asks Johnny if he will ever be free.  Note his evasive answer, "Maybe, someday."

 

I think the film would work as a story of a poignant and tragic  doomed love, but Reed had bigger fish to fry.  He wanted to make a more universal statement about humanity's lack of compassion and care for each other.   As an allegory, the film transcends the noirish crime caper genre and,in my opinion, succeeds on all levels.

 

In a film notable for its relentless pessimism, the scene that, for me, epitomizes Johnny's outcast status is when he approaches the girls in the telephone booth.  As he walks away from the camera and off the set, it is as if he has now left the world of humanity all together.  The scene is almost unbearably sad and bleak.  

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"I find that type of weakness very unappealing."  I don't understand this statement.  What weakness?  Whose weakness?

 

Kahleen's love for Johnny is not delusional.  She knows that he doesn't return her love.  Give the guy a break!  He is defending his leadership against Dennis'  challenge to it and he is preparing to lead a raid on the mill that he has been organizing for several months.  He is focused on his cause, his mission, and its operation.  A motto of the IRA was "once in, never out."  Kathleen would be familiar with this, and refers to it when she asks Johnny if he will ever be free.  Note his evasive answer, "Maybe, someday."

 

I think the film would work as a story of a poignant and tragic  doomed love, but Reed had bigger fish to fry.  He wanted to make a more universal statement about humanity's lack of compassion and care for each other.   As an allegory, the film transcends the noirish crime caper genre and,in my opinion, succeeds on all levels.

 

In a film notable for its relentless pessimism, the scene that, for me, epitomizes Johnny's outcast status is when he approaches the girls in the telephone booth.  As he walks away from the camera and off the set, it is as if he has now left the world of humanity all together.  The scene is almost unbearably sad and bleak.  

 

I'm not knocking Johnny but Kathleen.   Sorry but I can't support committing suicide for whatever the reasons she did so.  If she wanted to assist Johnny with being 'free' she could have just killed him.

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I don't see Kathleen as in any way weak.  If anything, she has a will of iron.  Almost immediately upon hearing that Johnny is on the run, she decides that the police will not have him.  She will do anything to prevent that.  Of course, her preference is that they escape on the ship, but she is prepared to kill him if that plan fails.  She never wavers, she never hesitates - she gets the gun, and she single-mindedly carries out her intentions.  One could make the case that suicide is a type of moral weakness (I don't see it that way), but actually doing it is way beyond my courage level.  It strikes me that Johnny, Kathleen, and the Inspector are the only characters in the film who don't show weakness:  Johnny in his determination to live, Kathleen in her total commitment to saving Johnny (by whatever means necessary), and the Inspector in his relentless hunt for Johnny.

 

 

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I don't see Kathleen as in any way weak.  If anything, she has a will of iron.  Almost immediately upon hearing that Johnny is on the run, she decides that the police will not have him.  She will do anything to prevent that.  Of course, her preference is that they escape on the ship, but she is prepared to kill him if that plan fails.  She never wavers, she never hesitates - she gets the gun, and she single-mindedly carries out her intentions.  One could make the case that suicide is a type of moral weakness (I don't see it that way), but actually doing it is way beyond my courage level.  It strikes me that Johnny, Kathleen, and the Inspector are the only characters in the film who don't show weakness:  Johnny in his determination to live, Kathleen in her total commitment to saving Johnny (by whatever means necessary), and the Inspector in his relentless hunt for Johnny.

 

So why did Kathleen decide to commit suicide?     I.e. what were the primary reasons she felt being dead was the better option than living? 

 

To me she could have carried out her intentions (ensuring Johnny wasn't captured even if that meant killing him) which were noble and selfless, without having to kill herself (or even facing charges).     

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