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 <email@example.com>
John Ford was concerned that the scene where drunken "King" Gypo goes into the brothel for Katie would not pass censors. The studio came up with the idea to "put the cats in hats"--that is, have all the prostitutes wear hats indoors, thus dissuading the censorship board from thinking they were prostitutes. See more »
After Gypo is shot several times in the chest and lower torso, he stumbles into the church and falls face down. When he rises, there's no blood on the floor of the church. See more »
A thought-provoking drama of desperate living, paranoia, and the consequences of one's actions, John Ford gives the film an appropriately dark atmosphere, and the sets have a nightmarish quality to them. As McLaglen stumbles half-drunk through the night, everything around him shows his feelings. His character tends to often feel guilty, but at other times he feels in the mood to celebrate. He is overcome by a wave of different emotions, upset from different things. McLaglen handles all of this very well, giving a startling realistic performance that is good enough to provide some compensation for Margot Grahame's over-acting. However, this is just the one character that is complex and fascinating. The supporting characters all are very thin, and the romance between Foster and Angel adds nothing to the tale. Even so, this is very effective film-making, with some clever use of dissolve editing and a haunting music score by Max Steiner. It is overall quite an effective film about moral play, desperation and responsibility.
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