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13 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

This is another entry into film-noir of the 1950's.

10/10
Author: Peter22060 from United States
26 June 2002

William Bendix gives another brilliant performance as a blasphemer. Aldo Ray performs in a strange and unique role. The conclusion of the film may not come close to Dietrich-Laughton in "Witness for the Prosecution", but one could see a comparison with the original "Bad Seed"

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Divine retribution - or just plain murder?

9/10
Author: ShadeGrenade from Ambrosia
16 July 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

It is hard to remember when 'Johnny Nobody' ( 1961 ) was last on television. Like a lot of good British movies, it has been undeservedly forgotten.

Written by Patrick Kirwan, it opens in a sleepy little Irish village where drunken American writer 'Mulcahy' ( William Bendiz ) is flaunting his atheistic views before the shocked locals. A fight breaks out, and even the arrival of 'Father Carey' ( Nigel Patrick ) is unable to calm the situation. Mulcahy challenges The Almighty - should He exist - to strike him dead. He indeed does die - thanks to a shot from a gun fired by a mysterious stranger ( Aldo Ray ) identifying himself as 'Nobody'. He then says: "I was standing there, and a voice said "Destroy that man!"".

The press nickname him 'Johnny Nobody', as his trial begins in Dublin. The main plank of his defence is that God Himself ordered Mulcahy's destruction. The villagers are convinced of his innocence. After all, did not God once put an end to Sodom and Gomorrah? When asked if he believes Johnny to be telling the truth, Carey cannot answer, so a two-day recess is called. Carey takes the opportunity to investigate the source of a number of unsigned letters containing Bible quotes - a small village in the Republic of Ireland. Here he learns the truth about the mysterious 'Johnny Nobody'...

This intriguing, thought-provoking mystery was directed by its star, the late ( and underrated ) Nigel Patrick ( remember him from 1959's 'The League Of Gentlemen'? ). He does not sound remotely Irish, but no matter, the rest of the cast is composed of wonderful performers of the calibre of Joe Lynch, J.G. Devlin, Danny O'Dea, Edd Byrnes, Noel Purcell, Niall McGinnis, and Cyril Cusack. The first part of the story is a bit talky, but when Carey is reported to the police by Miss Floyd ( Yvonne Mitchell ) it changes gear, becoming in effect a clerical 'Thirty-Nine Steps' with Carey as 'Richard Hannay' in a dog collar. Some nice location shooting in Ireland here. Ron Goodwin's harmonica theme is wonderfully evocative.

Things To Look Out For - a cameo from Bernie Winters ( sans Mike ) as a press photographer.

This is pleasant entertainment, and would make a nice addition to Odeon Entertainment's excellent 'Best Of British Collection'.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Tense, exciting drama!

10/10
Author: JohnHowardReid
19 May 2017

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

SYNOPSIS: Inflamed by drink, best-seller author Mulcahy (William Bendix) taunts the locals of the little Irish village of Monavullagh about their God-fearing ways. Father Carey (Nigel Patrick) is called to pacify him as he stands in front of the church shouting that if there is a God, to strike him down as a blasphemer. At that moment a shot rings out and Mulcahy falls dead. A complete stranger (Aldo Ray) appears holding a gun and declares that some compelling force made him kill Mulcahy. Awaiting trial in Dublin the stranger becomes legend and is dubbed Johnny Nobody, since no one can discover who he is.

NOTES: Based on a story published in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, November 1950.

Filmed on location in Ireland.

This movie was filmed in so-called "Warwickscope". My memory of Warwickscope is that it was not an anamorphic process at all, but simply a 1.85:1 widescreen framing and projection system.

COMMENT: I can't understand why "Johnny Nobody" has never been revived. It made a big impression on me at the time. I found it tense, exciting, ingeniously intriguing. Not only were the script's credentials as a mystery thriller extremely sound, but it was most convincingly acted — particularly by director Nigel Patrick himself in a really off-beat role.

Other credits, led by the attractive location photography, were likewise outstanding.

In short: Highly recommended.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Father Brown Meets The 39 Steps

6/10
Author: malcolmgsw from london
11 January 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

After the initial trial sequence the film goes in a completely different direction.Patrick goes to a deserted racecourse and is almost trampled by a horse whose rider doesn't stop.His face is scratched.He gets in his car and then drives into a bog,as someone has removed a warning sign.He goes to the road where waiting for him in her car is Yvonne Mitchell who is a journalist who has been trying to interview him.She drives him to her house.He tries to phone but it is dead.She then admits that she is the wife of Ray and doesn't want him to go back to court.It turns out that Ray shot Bendix as he was jealous of his success as an author.Patrick escapes in her car.However she phones the police and claims that Patrick has assaulted her and stolen items from her home as well as the car.The police seem to believe this without any verification.Patrick escapes and his evasion of the manhunt is very redolent of "The Thirty Nine Steps".he eventually gets to court but the jury have for some strange reason found Ray not guilty.He gloats out loud.Patrick effectively curses him and a couple of seconds later Ray,conveniently ,drops dead.The second half is very tense and much better than the first.As a fan of Bendix I was disappointed that he was killed off so early in the film.

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