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ODD MAN OUT (1947) tonight


roverrocks
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On a day of Irish themed movies, ODD MAN OUT (1947) a dynamic and suspenseful movie stands out.  One of James Mason's best.  Tonight at 6:00 PM mountain Time (my zone).  This gets my vote for viewing tonight.

 

 

 

Great movie.   Thanks for the tip.   But based on your POV that Oz is the most popular film in the WORLD,   do you also assume that billions of people in China and India will wear green on Saint Patrick's day?      :lol:  

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Great movie.   Thanks for the tip.   But based on your POV that Oz is the most popular film in the WORLD,   do you also assume that billions of people in China and India will wear green on Saint Patrick's day?      :lol:  

No not hardly but then other than the month old white socks on my feet I am not wearing green either today. :rolleyes:

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Maybe someone can explain to me how someone remains "Irish" when their ancestors arrived in the US in the middle of the 19th Century. Do you and all of your Irish ancestors marry only Irish women, for 6 to 8 generations?

I think the mental state of being "Irish" in the US of A is a recognized mental disorder where we just want something or anything "green" after a long winter of dead brown and mushy dark melting snow.  Of all the elemental ethnicity's on Earth I think only the "Irish" represent the eternal child or Leprechaun whimsey in all of us.  Being "Irish" for a day is pure escapism at it's finest or worst.  To be "Irish" is to be in a perpetual state of rebellion against tyrannical government oppression that never ends.  To be "Irish" means always being in love with the ideal of "Irish" femininity named Maureen O'Hara.

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I had forgotten Kathleen Ryan was in ODD MAN OUT. What a superb actress. I watched a disc this morning I had recorded with the film ESTHER WATERS on it. It features Dirk Bogarde's very first leading role, but Irish lass Kathleen Ryan is top-billed. She's wonderful. I read that she only made about a dozen films over a ten year period, then seems to have quit show business. Two or three of the films she did were modestly-budgeted Hollywood productions. In my opinion, she should have had a much bigger film career.

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I don't mean to insult any Irish people here, but I think that every IRA film is just like every other IRA film, EXCEPT for I SEE A DARK STRANGER, with Deborah Kerr. This film is fantastic and should be aired every St. Patrick's day. :)

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I don't mean to insult any Irish people here, but I think that every IRA film is just like every other IRA film, EXCEPT for I SEE A DARK STRANGER, with Deborah Kerr. This film is fantastic and should be aired every St. Patrick's day. :)

Completely agree. It's one of Kerr's best early British films.

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***Spoiler ahead***

 

I watched ODD MAN OUT again last night, as it had been some time since I had previously seen it. I do think the ending is seriously flawed. It should have been a mercy killing, with her shooting Mason-- not brandishing the gun at the police. This is a film where I wish alternate endings had been filmed so we could restore the last minute or two of the movie back to the way it was intended/originally scripted. It loses so much of its impact when she suddenly changes her mind and shoots away from Mason. 

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***Spoiler ahead***

 

I watched ODD MAN OUT again last night, as it had been some time since I had previously seen it. I do think the ending is seriously flawed. It should have been a mercy killing, with her shooting Mason-- not brandishing the gun at the police. This is a film where I wish alternate endings had been filmed so we could restore the last minute or two of the movie back to the way it was intended/originally scripted. It loses so much of its impact when she suddenly changes her mind and shoots away from Mason. 

 

As Osborne explained in his post-movie comments, the ending was nothing but a bow to the Breen code.  A mercy killing would have been viewed by the censors as letting Mason "get away with it". 

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As Osborne explained in his post-movie comments, the ending was nothing but a bow to the Breen code.  A mercy killing would have been viewed by the censors as letting Mason "get away with it". 

Yes, Andy, I watched the closing comments by Osborne and it is sort of what inspired my own comment here in this thread. But while I understand it, I still think they should have filmed two endings-- one for American audiences and one for the Europeans. The problem I have with the ending as it stands is that it radically alters Kathleen Ryan's character. She should do away with Mason rather than fire on the police.

 

This is a case where I think the censors were so focused on the male lead that the solution makes the female lead more evil. While these are vastly different stories, the end of ODD MAN OUT reminds me of the ending with Stanwyck in MARTHA IVERS. We know they're doomed and that they have to die-- but why must we have the woman pulling the trigger? She becomes the blame for everything, almost excusing the weak-willed but still very corrupt men that surround her.

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Yes, Andy, I watched the closing comments by Osborne and it is sort of what inspired my own comment here in this thread. But while I understand it, I still think they should have filmed two endings-- one for American audiences and one for the Europeans. The problem I have with the ending as it stands is that it radically alters Kathleen Ryan's character. It seems more correct to have her do away with Mason than to fire on the police.

 

This is a case where I think the censors were so focused on the male lead that the solution makes the female lead more evil. While these are vastly different stories, the end of ODD MAN OUT reminds me of the ending with Stanwyck in MARTHA IVERS. We know they're doomed and that they have to die-- but why must we have the woman pulling the trigger. She becomes the culprit for everything, almost excusing the weak-willed but still very corrupt men that surround her.

Death by Cop (a form of suicide) happens a lot in the real world today so I don't think the ending was totally out of place.  She preferred the death of them both rather than having him captured and hanged or rotting in jail for life leaving her a lifetime of lonely sorrow.  Whatever might come after death was preferable so she wanted them to go together into the unknown.

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Yes, Andy, I watched the closing comments by Osborne and it is sort of what inspired my own comment here in this thread. But while I understand it, I still think they should have filmed two endings-- one for American audiences and one for the Europeans. The problem I have with the ending as it stands is that it radically alters Kathleen Ryan's character. She should do away with Mason rather than fire on the police.

 

This is a case where I think the censors were so focused on the male lead that the solution makes the female lead more evil. While these are vastly different stories, the end of ODD MAN OUT reminds me of the ending with Stanwyck in MARTHA IVERS. We know they're doomed and that they have to die-- but why must we have the woman pulling the trigger? She becomes the blame for everything, almost excusing the weak-willed but still very corrupt men that surround her.

 

With regards to Martha Ivers;    Once the Douglas character discovers that Martha ordered his murder it was clear he was going to do one of two things;   Turn over evidence to the state that would put Martha away for a very long time or kill Martha and then himself.  So Martha decided to kill herself.    Yea,  I guess Douglas could have killed himself first and then Martha would have,  but would you have trusted Martha do so?    NO WAY.    So it had to be her pulling the trigger on herself first.   

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I think Beloved Enemy proves that not all IRA themed films are the

same and that some are better than others. This one was a pretty

dull affair for the most part, especailly the clunky love story. Odd

Man Out is far superior to flicks like Beloved Enemy in every respect.

I give BE two shamrocks and OMO four.

Yes, we know some people are very vocal about their like for noir and dark crime stories, while melodramas seem to be (at least on the message boards) an under appreciated so-called women's genre. But I believe a love story set within an IRA-themed film can work just as well as one that focuses on a major crime with far-reaching effects. Maybe BELOVED ENEMY is not the best example. And I am not exactly referring to the atypical love story of THE CRYING GAME.

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Maybe someone can explain to me how someone remains "Irish" when their ancestors arrived in the US in the middle of the 19th Century. Do you and all of your Irish ancestors marry only Irish women, for 6 to 8 generations?

It's simple, just because you were born here doesn't mean you lose your ancestry. My wife is American born  but is still of 100% Irish heritage because both her parents, were born of Irish parents, as their parents were going all the way  back. Citizenship and bloodline are two different things.

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It's simple, just because you were born here doesn't mean you lose your ancestry. My wife is American born  but is still of 100% Irish heritage because both her parents, were born of Irish parents, as their parents were going all the way  back. Citizenship and bloodline are two different things.

 

I believe your wife is exactly what Fred mentions in his post;  i.e.  that she maintained her Irish heritage because none of her ancestors had children with anyone that wasn't Irish going back multiple generations.

 

I believe his point being that in a mixed culture like the USA that isn't easy to maintain.   

 

Oh, and not to get too personal,  but did your marriage end this cycle?

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Films about underground political groups certainly lend themselves to

the possibility of noirish visuals. Some scenes in Beloved Enemy had

a noirish look to them, and there are some melodramtic elements in Odd

Man Out. I just felt that the latter was much better than the former. One

was a rather unexceptional film, the othere rose far above that. I like the

aspect of Odd Man Out that after McQueen is wounded he changes from

a strong central character into a character who is passed around from

one person to another, each of whom uses McQueen for his own purposes.

He has come close to losing his individuality and become an object for the

most part.

I thought about this post last night after I clicked 'like' on it. I think love stories, even Technicolor melodramas like those directed by Douglas Sirk, can lend themelves to noirish visuals, too. I still think there is a huge bias, at large, that love stories are automatically mushy and not as worthy as hard-bitten crime dramas. But some love stories can be played very dark and sinister on screen, with striking noirish cinematography. Plus we have crime dramas where villains may not be as cold-blooded or detectives that may not be as hard-boiled as others, but we still label them noir (when actually, they are what might be called 'soft noir'). So I think there are variations. 

 

On the 'Tomorrow' thread, I pick one film that either hasn't been played in a long time on TCM or a film that has been played recently but has cultural significance related to on-going board discussions. If there are two or three titles (and I only pick one), and one is a love story and the other is a noir, I tend to pick the love story because I know that noir already gets a lot of publicity on these message boards. Does that mean I don't care for noir? Absolutely not. But I like more balanced representations of genre in our discussions and it does amuse me when people always pick the noir as the more superior film just because of lighting and violence, when some of those films overall have rather very weak stories.

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Maybe the "problem" with love stories is

that they have been around so long and there are so many of them

that they become a little stale after a while

Perhaps the same thing could be said about crime films (noir). Even heists and murders can become a little stale after a while...right?

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Watching movies is difficult for my 85 y/o mother because she is so easily distracted, it seems at times she is watching everything but the TV screen. She tells me that, when she watched this movie on the 17th--for the first time--, there was a twist at the end that she could not understand. Since I was not watching with her I have no idea what she referred to; does anybody here have an idea what it was?

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Definitely. Crime stories have been around a long time too, though I don't think

they are quite as ubiquitous as the general love story. I think people tend to

be a little forgiving of their favorite genre. So noir fans may still like a noir film

that is only of average quality and give it a bit of a free pass. The current popularity

of noir likely has something to do with the gradual institutionalization of the genre,

with so much being written about these films over the last twenty years or so. Pre-Code

is sort of the new noir.

I agree-- we tend to overlook repetitious plots in our favorite genres, as long as there is some slight variation.

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It might have been the ending scene where Johnny's girlfriend pulls out her

gun and fires at the policemen who are coming toward them, resulting in

the police killing both of them. That could be a twist. I don't remember if I

saw that coming the first time I saw the film or not.

That was it; thank you (thumbs up).

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How curious.  This thread was ostensibly about ODD MAN OUT, yet most of the conversation revolved around one's "Irishness."  It would appear that no one was interested enough in this film to even talk about it.  Of course, I was not surprised that nobody had anything to say about Mason's performance - the best in a career filled with excellent performances.  American audiences didn't "get" him when he was alive; they surely won't now.  If anybody is interested at all in this masterpiece, there are two fine analyses of it:  "Odd Man Out" by Dai Vaughan, published by BFI and "Filmguide to Odd Man Out" by James DeFelice, published by Indiana University Press.  

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