Dublin, 1920. Gypo Nolan, strong but none too bright, has been ousted from the rebel organization and is starving. When he finds that his equally destitute sweetheart Katie has been reduced to prostitution, he succumbs to temptation and betrays his former comrade Frankie to the British authorities for a 20 pound reward. In the course of one gloomy, foggy night, guilt and retribution inexorably close in...Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
John Ford's classic with intense drama and astounding images that linger in your memory
Dublin, 1922 . Gypo Nolan (Victor McLagen) , a slow-witted Irish pug has been ousted from the rebel organization . He is hungry and attempts to impress his ladylove . When he finds that his equally destitute girlfriend Katie Madden (Margot Grahame) has been reduced to prostitution , he succumbs to temptation and turns his friend Frankie McPhillip (Wallace Ford) in for money to the British authorities for a 20 pound reward . Nolan then feels doom closing in . He also gets his comeuppance from the IRA (whose leader is Preston Foster) . Later on , Gypo gets home Mrs. McPhillip (Una O'Connor) and Mary McPhillip (Heather Angel) .
Intense film about loneliness , suspicion , frightening , treason , information ; and including a descriptive, evocative black-and-white cinematography . This is a dramatic film dealing with thought-provoking themes about betrayal , guilt and retribution . John Ford re-made "The Informer" (1929) by Arthur Robinson ; and , obviously, he was influenced by this version . Good acting by Victor Mclagen as a strong but none too bright man who betrays his former comrade , though overacting and bears excessive gesticulation . The day before shooting McLagen's trial scene , he proceeded to go out drinking - which Ford knew he would do - and the next day was forced to film the scene with a terrible hangover, which was just the effect Ford wanted . John Ford had been highly impressed by F.W. Murnau's ¨Sunrise¨ and wanted to bring an element of German Expressionism to this film . As it displays an expressionist cinematography by Joseph M August , plenty if lights and dark , being well showed in the course of one gloomy , foggy night . Interesting screenplay by Dudley Nichols who wrote the script in six days , being based from the story by Liam O'Flaherty .
This was the first of RKO's three-picture deal with director John Ford and despite its deserved reputation and multiple Oscars, it was a low budget production . Another reason why RKO was reluctant to make the film was because a version of the story had already been filmed in the UK in 1929 .Initially a box office failure, the film made millions when it was re-released after its multiple wins at the Academy Awards .Shot in 17 days and its production costs came to a mere $243,000 . The picture belongs the Ford's second period -subsequently his silent time-when John Ford (1895-1973) made a rich variety of stories and his reputation rightly rests on his work in the 30s and 1940s, as ¨Grapes of wrath¨ , ¨How green was my valley¨ , ¨Fugitive¨ , ¨They were expendable¨, ¨My darling Clementine¨ and the Cavalry trilogy
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