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Odd Man Out (Reed, 1947) #TSPDT #469

An underground rebel is wounded during a heist and tries to evade the manhunt in Belfast.

The story is of a steady decline towards the unsurprising end of terrible consequences. James Mason is quite astonishing as the soft-spoken hero, whom you just cannot imagine of doing anything as bad as scaring a child, let alone a robbery. Obviously, he does both in the film and much more. His endless odyssey which is much less about him than the various Belfastian characters towards him and - although explicitly denied by the filmmaker in a bizarre opening title card - ultimately about the struggle for independence in Northern Ireland (or any similar situation)

There were two or three moments in the film that didn't hold up for me as well as they should, but the crazy painter and his bizarre co-inhabitant made it all up - a bold selection of outright frightening men from the fringes of society. There is no need to decipher the symbolism (payoff might be even bigger) - it's simply enjoyable through and through.

As mentioned above, Mason is an extremely effective anti-hero, with his light frame, his haunting looks and there seems to be something eating away at him. Even when I watched him on a vintage TV show he radiated a kind of possession. Must be big fun to work with such an actor.

Study this for great character sketches (great film)


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This highly personal movie is very touching and manages to avoid all the pitfalls of being overly emotional. Music and editing are very subdued and carefully used to underline situations. This makes the story ring true (which it was) and gives the viewer good time to settle into the universe that these kids live in.

There are many quite complicated scenes and I was interested in one particular: When Jean gets invited on parent's day by the mother of his new best friend into a posh restaurant. In that very restaurant there are Nazis at one side of the room and an elderly Jew sitting on the other side. The table of the family is right inbetween. Many things about France during the war are told during this scene, I'll just try and focus on camera placement.

The focus shifts twice in the scene: From the family table to the French Jew's table  (who I have been told wears the red …

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A young war hero gets five days of leave to visit his mother in his home village but gets sidetracked by the people he meets on the journey.

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Glory (1989, Edward Zwick)

A young commander in the civil war is asked to recruit and lead the first all-black Confederate battalion into the Civil War.

I am not too interested in details of the American Civil War but the film managed to stir my interest in some ways. I might want to look up the difference in treatment of the many Chinese laborers that were employed in the development of the West and what kind of legacy this particular group of people has to suffer from in contrast to the better-known fate of African-Americans.

There are some interesting scenes in the film. I decide to examine the battle scene in the beginning. It introduces Broderick's character as a naive and brave but inexperienced soldier - a great choice of casting, especially in contrast to the hardened appearance of Washington. According to imdb footage was used from re-enactment groups and intercut with the staged film.

Before the battle scene commences Broderick walks in row of soldiers and talks over the pictures of the gathering…