“I’m Coming With You”

It’s time for a perfectly rendered Criterion Bluray of Carol Reed‘s Odd Man Out (’47), one of the most sadly emotional and tragic noirs of all time. I saw it a couple of times on laser disc in the mid ’90s, and I have indelible memories of a sweating, barely conscious James Mason (as IRA combatant Johnny McQueen) and of constantly falling snow in a darkened Belfast. I would have them again in high-definition.

The exquisite photography is by Robert Krasker, who also shot Reed’s The Third Man.

The only NTSC DVD was put out by Image nearly 14 years ago, and opportunistic re-sellers are asking $80 and $90 and higher for used and new copies. Shut those suckers down.

The harbor finale with Mason and Kathleen Ryan leaning against the iron fence with the cops slowly approaching in the snow…wow. And Robert Newton ‘s performance as the gesticulating alcoholic painter…forget about it.

Odd Man Out was Mason’s breakout film, of course, but he’d been acting since 1933 or thereabouts, when he turned 24, and was 37 — no spring chicken — when Reed’s film was shot in mid ’46.

The Wiki page notes that Roman Polanski has “repeatedly cited Odd Man Out as his favourite film,” and that he feels that Odd Man Out is superior to The Third Man, generally thought to be Reed’s masterpiece. “I still consider it as one of the best movies I’ve ever seen and a film which made me want to pursue this career more than anything else,” Polanski has said. “I always dreamt of doing things of this sort or that style. To a certain extent I must say that I somehow perpetuate the ideas of that movie in what I do.”

9 thoughts on ““I’m Coming With You”

  1. Tristan Eldritch2 on said:

    I got the Network Special Edition (European) a few years back. It’s one of those movies that leaves you in no doubt after one viewing that you’ve just watched a stone-cold masterpiece. The climax that you mention is a perfect marriage of formal brilliance and poignancy.

  2. Odd Man Out is to The Third Man what Revolver is to Sgt. Pepper.

    I adore The Third Man, but this film is even richer, darker, more hallucinatory at times, with an even deeper sense of melancholy. An absolute masterpiece. It would rank much higher in the annals of cinema if not for the success of its younger sibling.

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