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Johnny Nobody 1961
Description: When the atheistic ranting of Irish-American creator James Mulcahy upsets the inhabitants of the Irish village to which he has retired, a mob threatens him. But moments after he has dared God to strike him dead, a stranger appears and does so. The man, dubbed "Johnny Nobody" by the press, claims no knowledge of Mulcahy or even of himself. He asks the support of the village priest, Father Carey, in his upcoming trial for Mulcahy's murder. While the amnesiac Johnny goes to trial, Father Carey mulls questions of belief raised by the case. And then, the nice father learns a tiny more about Johnny Nobody...
Released: 23 Nov 1965 Director: Nigel Patrick Writers: Albert Z. Carr (story "The Trial of Johnny Nobody"), Patrick Kirwan Actors: Nigel Patrick, Yvonne Mitchell, William Bendix, Aldo Ray Genres: Drama
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Johnny Nobody Reviews:

It is difficult to remember when 'Johnny Nobody' ( 1961 ) was last on television. Like a lot of nice British movies, it has been undeservedly forgotten.Written by Patrick Kirwan, it opens in a sleepy tiny Irish village where drunken American writer 'Mulcahy' ( William Bendiz ) is flaunting his atheistic views before the shocked locals. A war breaks out, and even the comeback of 'Father Carey' ( Nigel Patrick ) is unable to calm the situation. Mulcahy challenges The Almighty - could 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 told "Destroy that man!"".The press nick him 'Johnny Nobody', as his trial starts 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 place an end to Sodom and Gomorrah? When asked if he believes Johnny to be saying the truth, Carey cannot answer, so a two-day recess is called. Carey takes the occasion to investigate the source of a number of unsigned letters containing Bible quotes - a tiny 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 unbelievable 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 storyline is a bit talky, but when Carey is reported to the police by Miss Floyd ( Yvonne Mitchell ) it changes gear, becoming in result a clerical 'Thirty-Nine Steps' with Carey as 'Richard Hannay' in a dog collar. Some great zone 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 create a great addition to Odeon Entertainment's perfect 'Best Of British Collection'.


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


SYNOPSIS: Inflamed by drink, best-seller creator Mulcahy (William Bendix) taunts the locals of the tiny Irish village of Monavullagh about their God-fearing ways. Father Carey (Nigel Patrick) is named 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 finished stranger (Aldo Ray) appears holding a gun and declares that some compelling force made him slay Mulcahy. Awaiting trial in Dublin the stranger becomes legend and is dubbed Johnny Nobody, since no one can explore who he is.NOTES: Based on a storyline published in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, November 1950.Filmed on zone in Ireland.This film 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 large 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 pretty zone photography, were likewise outstanding.In short: Highly recommended.



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