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ODD MAN OUT (1947) tonight


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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.  

Yes thanks, that is the fate of a lot of threads that get started. A lot of times, since I'm not on here 24/7, by the time I read through an interesting thread it gets sidetracked from it's original subject.  ;)

 

Back to the topic:

 

One of my favorite things about this film is its building soundtrack which seems to coincide with the increasing snowfall

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I love James Mason. Unfortunately I missed this one. I've only seen him in a few movies: The Verdict, The Boys From Brazil, Georgy Girl, Lolita, North by Northwest. He has such a smooth way about him. Any recommendations for movies for me, I would greatly appreciate.

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I love James Mason. Unfortunately I missed this one. I've only seen him in a few movies: The Verdict, The Boys From Brazil, Georgy Girl, Lolita, North by Northwest. He has such a smooth way about him. Any recommendations for movies for me, I would greatly appreciate.

I'm a bit biased but I think his early British work is best. This morning he was on FXM Retro in a mid-to-late 50s drama with Joan Fontaine and Joan Collins called ISLAND IN THE SUN. Some of his American stuff is not the greatest but still watchable.

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I'd like to see more of Mason's British work, because I always enjoy his performances, but I guess I'm more familiar with his American films. 

 

I'd also recommend BIGGER THAN LIFE, a drama about a teacher who becomes addicted to prescription drugs, directed by Nicholas Ray; 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA, an enjoyable Disney adventure in which Mason is Capt. Nemo, co-starring Kirk Douglas, Peter Lorre, and Paul Lukas; and A STAR IS BORN (1954), in which Mason plays the declining star opposite Judy Garland's rising star.

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I'd like to see more of Mason's British work, because I always enjoy his performances, but I guess I'm more familiar with his American films. 

 

One of my favorite British films with James Mason is 1947's THE UPTURNED GLASS. It's an interesting revenge tale involving a surgeon, played by Mason. His real-life wife Pamela Kellino plays a key role in this picture.

 

Probably my favorite American film of his is CAUGHT, with Robert Ryan and Barbara Bel Geddes made not long after he and Pamela emigrated to Hollywood.

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One of my favorite British films with James Mason is 1947's THE UPTURNED GLASS. It's an interesting revenge tale involving a surgeon, played by Mason. His real-life wife Pamela Kellino plays a key role in this picture.

 

Probably my favorite American film of his is CAUGHT, with Robert Ryan and Barbara Bel Geddes made not long after he and Pamela emigrated to Hollywood.

Thanks for the recommendations -- I'll definitely be looking for them.

 

A very late Mason performance that I remember liking was in THE SHOOTING PARTY (1985), which was released after his death.  I haven't seen it since its first release, however, although it's available on DVD.

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Thanks for the recommendations -- I'll definitely be looking for them.

 

A very late Mason performance that I remember liking was in THE SHOOTING PARTY (1985), which was released after his death.  I haven't seen it since its first release, however, although it's available on DVD.

It has been a long time since TCM aired CAUGHT. It's very well-made. I will let you read up on it, using the TCM database, because I don't wish to spoil the plot here in this post. Though I will say that MGM's writers were obviously inspired by Howard Hughes, who ironically loaned Ryan and Bel Geddes from RKO to make the picture. Mason had just signed a contract with MGM and he was starting to make some of his more noteworthy Hollywood films.

 

 

I agree that his later work had moments of brilliance, too.

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I enjoyed Mason portraying Rommel in THE DESERT FOX (1951).

I had a professor in college who was an assistant director on that film.  He said Mason spent all his time chasing the young men on the set.  I could barely believe it but he was serious.  I've read Sheridan Morley's biography of Mason and there was no hint that he leaned that way at all.  Maybe he was getting into an Alexander the great persona?

Anyway, God love him.  Mason is one of my all time favourites.  Got several great pictures of him in my office.

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I had a professor in college who was an assistant director on that film. He said Mason spent all his time chasing the young men on the set. I could barely believe it but he was serious. I've read Sheridan Morley's biography of Mason and there was no hint that he leaned that way at all. Maybe he was getting into an Alexander the great persona?

Anyway, God love him. Mason is one of my all time favourites. Got several great pictures of him in my office.

Well Pamela did take him to the cleaners when they divorced. So he must have been doing something wrong. She died in a very nice mansion in Beverly Hills.

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In reply to the request for some more Mason films, I would recommend the following:

 

(Before he went to Hollywood)

 

The Night Has Eyes

Alibi (first teaming of Mason with Lockwood)

I Met a Murderer (almost a home movie, entirely made and paid for by Mason and the Kellinos)

The Spy in White

The Mill on the Floss

The Man in Grey

Fanny By Gaslight

The Wicked Lady

They Were Sisters

The Seventh Veil

The Upturned Glass

 

(His later films)

 

Caught

The Reckless Moment

One Way Street

Pandora and the Flying Dutchman

Five Fingers

Julius Caesar

The Man Between (another Reed noir film, unfairly compared to The Third Man)

A Touch of Larceny (a rare romantic comedy role for Mason)

Journey to the Center of the Earth

Lolita (Mason should have won an Oscar for this one)

Tiara Tahiti

A Deadly Affair

Cop Out (wretched movie, but Mason's performance is brilliant)

Spring and Port Wine

The Shooting Party

 

I haven't included some that everyone knows about, egs., North By Northwest, The Desert Fox, etc.

 

Happy viewing.

 

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  • 4 months later...

One of my favorite British films with James Mason is 1947's THE UPTURNED GLASS. It's an interesting revenge tale involving a surgeon, played by Mason. His real-life wife Pamela Kellino plays a key role in this picture.

 

Probably my favorite American film of his is CAUGHT, with Robert Ryan and Barbara Bel Geddes made not long after he and Pamela emigrated to Hollywood.

I like both of these films too!  In the Upturned Glass Pamela Kellino's role is eventually very scary when James's character discovers that she murdered the woman he loved.  The realistic struggle between them is frightening to watch, culminating in her being thrown out of the window!  (I almost cringed away from the TV when watching the first time).

Caught features James Mason in a sympathetic role where the girl he came to love had married a sadistic man (played very realistically by the great Robert Ryan).  He eventually saves her life in the nick of time. James Mason and Barbara Bel Geddes enacted their parts beautifully.

Odd Man Out and The Seventh Veil are my favorite Mason films.  I feel that James Mason's career in England was better, but he created masterpieces out of his roles in America as well; Pandora and the Flying Dutchman, Lady Possessed, A Star is Born, etc. 

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Well Pamela did take him to the cleaners when they divorced. So he must have been doing something wrong. She died in a very nice mansion in Beverly Hills.

In recent years I have come to admire the superb James Mason's acting.  I have now read two biographies of James  and acquired other information from reading clippings regarding his life and career,  No, I think she treated him very badly and had multiple affairs when the children were very young.  Not surprising, he did get involved with some of his leading ladies.   After 23 years he finally managed to break free, hoping to keep his relationship with his children on good terms,.  He eventually married a lovely  actress he worked with in the late 60's; Clarissa Kaye.  I was glad to see that he finally found great happiness.  (When Pamela divorced James, she did take him to the cleaners.  He did not care about the money, he only tried to save the children from hearing adverse things.  Ironically, she had a detective on his trail.  He should have had a continuous one on her).  In recent years I have become a devoted fan to the late, great James Mason and have come to admire his cause to save animals; many cat sanctuaries were built in his name and other humanitarian causes.

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Yes thanks, that is the fate of a lot of threads that get started. A lot of times, since I'm not on here 24/7, by the time I read through an interesting thread it gets sidetracked from it's original subject.  ;)

 

Back to the topic:

 

One of my favorite things about this film is its building soundtrack which seems to coincide with the increasing snowfall

Me too!  I love the clever soundtrack too; it does seem to coincide with the increasing snowfall.  I think the entire film's soundtrack is devoted to the action that is occurring.  As Johnny McQueen attempts to flee from the robbery and accidental murder, the music is more somber

 

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.  

A very good friend loaned me both books about Odd Man Out.  I enjoyed both and they enabled me to understand the many nuances of this film even better.  The book itself is a masterpiece; the interpretive book equally interesting. 

 

Next, I viewed the film.  I had never seen this film before and was absolutely entranced by it.  Yes, James Mason evinced a very superb performance in it. 

 

Sadly, American audiences dd not understand and appreciate Mr. Mason  Today he is still misunderstood by many who cannot perceive his greatness and his total devotion to each role he essayed.  It is to be hoped that he will have many, many fans again who appreciate him and perceive his greatness in every role.  (Of course I am not biased -- lol!).  Just telling the facts, man!

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Well Pamela did take him to the cleaners when they divorced. So he must have been doing something wrong. She died in a very nice mansion in Beverly Hills.

Yes, she died in splendour, but poor James had hardly any money.  An impressive element in his biographies was that he would not speak out against Pamela, his adulterous first wife.  One of his best friends, Christopher Lee, said that when he spoke to James in early years he noted the sad, tragic expression he had seeming to indicate deep pain for what he had endured and a lasting sadness in believing his life would never improve.  Later he told him that he must get out of that marriage.  This was much later.  It took a long time for him to achieve that goal, for he was like a shell-shocked G.I.  Of course Pamela panned him on talk shows in the 70's and 80's, claiming that marriage to him was filled with anxiety because of his multiple affairs!  James never bothered to retaliate, his friend said.  But he and Graham Greene, also a good friend of James Mason, knew the real truth of the matter.  They were both glad to see their talented friend back on his feet and making more films.

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I had a professor in college who was an assistant director on that film.  He said Mason spent all his time chasing the young men on the set.  I could barely believe it but he was serious.  I've read Sheridan Morley's biography of Mason and there was no hint that he leaned that way at all.  Maybe he was getting into an Alexander the great persona?

Anyway, God love him.  Mason is one of my all time favourites.  Got several great pictures of him in my office.

My very favorite actor and I have valued many since I was a child watching many wonderful classic films on TV.  I too read Sheridan's book and really don't think James leaned in that direction!   I now have many wonderful pictures of James, thanks to a very good friend who is collecting wonderful memorabilia of the great Mr. M.  His superb acting talents and wonderful voice will never be surpassed!

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