Carol Reed's taut character study (disguised as a suspense melodrama) was adapted from the novel by F.L. Green and stars James Mason in his star-making role as I.R.A. operative Johnny McQueen. Breaking out of jail, Johnny takes it on the lam, but idealism forces him out of hiding in order to raise money for the I.R.A. cause he believes in so strongly. He decides to rob a bank, but the hold-up goes bad and Johnny is seriously wounded by the police. Staggering through the streets of Belfast, Johnny meets a succession of people who either want to help him or turn him over to the authorities. Johnny finally stumbles into a pub, where he is taken in by a homosexual artist (Robert Newton) who wants Johnny to pose for him in order to capture the desperation in his eyes. Johnny breaks free from the artist and tries to make his way to the waterfront in a final effort to escape ... but the police are slowly closing in.