Review: Carol Reed's "Odd Man Out" (1947) Starring James Mason; Criterion Blu-ray Special Edition

  • CinemaRetro
“A Pint Of British Noir”

By Raymond Benson

Film noir wasn’t just relegated to American Hollywood films of the forties and fifties. It was something of an international movement, albeit an unconscious one, for it wasn’t until the late fifties that some critics in France looked back at the past two decades of crime pictures and proclaimed, “Oui! Film noir!”

Britain was doing it, too. Carol Reed’s 1947 Ira-thriller-that-isn’t-an-ira-thriller Odd Man Out is one of the best examples of the style. Robert Krasker’s black and white cinematography pulls in all the essential film noir elements—German expressionism, high contrasts between dark and light, and tons of shadows. Other noir trappings are present, such as stormy weather, night scenes, exterior locations, bars, shabby tenements, a lot of smoking, and a crime. And, for a movie to be “pure noir,” there must not be a happy ending. Odd
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