Johnny McQueen is a wounded, bleeding, half-delirious figure throughout Carol Reed’s classic 1947 film — after the robbery he’s never fully “there” and thereafter lies near the door of death, which constantly sings and beckons to him…”come to me, release your burdens, let me comfort you with my shroud”. And so Mason’s whole performance isn’t a tour de force but a fever-dream thing, and pretty much one-note — be honest. Poor rumpled Johnny is never strong or even conscious enough to say “I should do this” or “but I can’t do that.” He’s limp tissue, an invalid, a half-cognizant lamb waiting for the slaughter. His loyal girlfriend does him a favor at the end. Not a problematic performance as the sadness and resignation are constant and seeping, but certainly a limited one.