Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
United Kingdom, 1947. Two Cities Films. Screenplay by F.L. Green, R.C. Sherriff. Cinematography by Robert Krasker. Produced by Carol Reed. Music by William Alwyn. Production Design by Ralph W. Brinton. Costume Design by Peggy Henderson. Film Editing by Fergus McDonell.
IRA man James Mason participates in a robbery that goes sour when he accidentally shoots and kills a man while trying to get away with the loot. While his friends make it back to their safe house, Mason wanders the streets of Belfast wounded and delirious, trying to hide from the authorities, hoping to make it back safely to his headquarters. Meanwhile, his lady love waits for him at home, terribly worried and being accosted by the English police who believe she is covering up for him. Carol Reed’s scintillating direction makes a winner out of this highly absorbing, incredibly enjoyable drama, featuring thrilling performances and a wonderful plot that sees its protagonist going on a twisted odyssey of sorts through the city that puts him in contact with stranger and stranger personalities. It begins to sag a tiny bit under its own weight in the last third, but the effect overall is one of wonderful intensity, heightened by the beautiful black and white photography.
The Criterion Collection: #754
Academy Award Nomination: Best Film Editing
Venice Film Festival: In Competition