IMDb > Force of Evil (1948)
Force of Evil
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Force of Evil (1948) More at IMDbPro »

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Up 12% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Abraham Polonsky (screenplay) and
Ira Wolfert (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for Force of Evil on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
25 December 1948 (USA) See more »
An unethical lawyer, with an older brother he wants to help, becomes a partner with a client in the numbers racket. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
1 win See more »
User Reviews:
beyond film noir...a classic and pessimistic view of humannature See more (52 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

John Garfield ... Joe Morse

Thomas Gomez ... Leo Morse

Marie Windsor ... Edna Tucker
Howland Chamberlain ... Freddie Bauer (as Howland Chamberlin)

Roy Roberts ... Ben Tucker

Paul Fix ... Bill Ficco
Stanley Prager ... Wally
Barry Kelley ... Det. Egan
Paul McVey ... Hobe Wheelock
Beatrice Pearson ... Doris Lowry
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Murray Alper ... Comptroller (uncredited)
Jessie Arnold ... Sorter (uncredited)
Sam Ash ... Man (uncredited)
Georgia Backus ... Sylvia Morse (uncredited)
Margaret Bert ... Sorter (uncredited)
Larry J. Blake ... Detective (uncredited)
Mildred Boyd ... Mother (uncredited)

Beau Bridges ... Frankie Tucker (uncredited)
Ralph Brooks ... Attorney (uncredited)
John Butler ... Banker (uncredited)
Douglas Carter ... Man (uncredited)
William Challee ... Gunman #1 (uncredited)
Cliff Clark ... Police Lieutenant (uncredited)
Eileen Coghlan ... Secretary #1 (uncredited)
Roger Cole ... Attorney (uncredited)
John 'Uh huh' Collum ... Dancer (uncredited)
Barbara Combs ... Dancer (uncredited)
Betty Corner ... Sorter (uncredited)
Bert Davidson ... Attorney (uncredited)
Jim Davies ... Policeman #9 (uncredited)
Jan Dennis ... Mrs. Bauer (uncredited)
Jim Drum ... Banker (uncredited)
Ann Duncan ... Norval's Girlfriend (uncredited)
Jimmie Dundee ... Dineen (uncredited)
Ralph Dunn ... Policeman #8 (uncredited)
Jay Eaton ... Attorney (uncredited)
Helen Eby-Rock ... Secretary #3 (uncredited)
Richard Elmore ... Attorney (uncredited)
Estelle Etterre ... Secretary #4 (uncredited)
Charles Evans ... Judge (uncredited)
Budd Fine ... Butcher (uncredited)
Joel Fluellen ... Father (uncredited)
Paul Frees ... Elevator Operator (uncredited)
David Fresco ... Gunman #3 (uncredited)
Dick Gordon ... Attorney (uncredited)
Sherry Hall ... Sorter (uncredited)
Chuck Hamilton ... Policeman #4 (uncredited)
Bert Hanlon ... Cigar Man (uncredited)
Carl Hanson ... Attorney (uncredited)
Ray Hirsch ... Newsboy (uncredited)
Ray Hyke ... Policeman #12 (uncredited)
John Indrisano ... Henchman (uncredited)
Perry Ivins ... Mr. Middleton (uncredited)
Milton Kibbee ... Richards (uncredited)
Jack Lambert ... (uncredited)
Raymond Largay ... Bunty (uncredited)

Will Lee ... Waiter (uncredited)
George Magrill ... Policeman #7 (uncredited)
Allen Mathews ... Badgley (uncredited)
Mickey McGuire ... Boy (uncredited)
David McKim ... Cashier (uncredited)
Bill Neff ... Law Clerk (uncredited)
Paul Newlan ... Policeman #2 (uncredited)
William H. O'Brien ... Dancer (uncredited)

Arthur O'Connell ... Link Hall (uncredited)
Frank O'Connor ... Bailiff (uncredited)
Jack Overman ... Juice (uncredited)
Edward Peil Sr. ... Counterman (uncredited)
Frank Pharr ... Louie - Bootblack (uncredited)
Joey Ray ... Gunman #2 (uncredited)
Bob Reeves ... (uncredited)
Richard Reeves ... Policeman (uncredited)
Shimen Ruskin ... Sorter (uncredited)
Tim Ryan ... Johnson (uncredited)
Louise Saraydar ... Hatcheck Girl (uncredited)
Carl Saxe ... Policeman #5 (uncredited)
Carl Sklover ... Banker (uncredited)
Cap Somers ... Policeman #6 (uncredited)
Esther Somers ... Mrs. Lowry (uncredited)
Bob Stebbins ... Norval (uncredited)
Diane Stewart ... Girl (uncredited)
Barbara Stone ... Secretary #2 (uncredited)
Robert Strong ... Court Reporter (uncredited)
Brick Sullivan ... Policeman #11 (uncredited)
Sid Tomack ... Two & Two Taylor (uncredited)
Jim Toney ... Sorter (uncredited)
Phil Tully ... Policeman #1 (uncredited)
Max Wagner ... Policeman #3 (uncredited)
Joe Warfield ... Collector (uncredited)
Stanley Waxman ... Nightclub Manager (uncredited)
Mervin Williams ... Goodspeed (uncredited)
Robert Williams ... Elevator Starter (uncredited)
Bud Wiser ... Policeman #10 (uncredited)
Barbara Woodell ... Mary - Joe's Secretary (uncredited)

Directed by
Abraham Polonsky 
Writing credits
Abraham Polonsky (screenplay) and
Ira Wolfert (screenplay)

Ira Wolfert (novel "Tucker's People")

Produced by
Bob Roberts .... producer
Original Music by
David Raksin 
Cinematography by
George Barnes (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Art Seid  (as Arthur Seid)
Casting by
Jack Baur 
Art Direction by
Richard Day 
Set Decoration by
Edward G. Boyle 
Makeup Department
Lillian Lashin .... hair stylist
Gustaf Norin .... makeup supervisor (as Gus Norin)
Production Management
Joe C. Gilpin .... executive production manager (as Joseph C. Gilpin)
George Yohalem .... unit manager (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Robert Aldrich .... assistant director
Sound Department
Frank Webster .... sound engineer
Camera and Electrical Department
Carl Gibson .... head grip
John F. Warren .... operative cameraman (as Jack Warren)
Scotty Welbourne .... still photographer (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Louise Wilson .... wardrobe supervisor
Editorial Department
Howard Lee Paul .... assistant film editor
Walter Thompson .... editorial supervisor
Music Department
Rudolph Polk .... musical director
Lawrence Morton .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Ruby Raksin .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Other crew
Kenneth Hopkins .... hats (as Keneth Hopkins)
Don Weis .... dialogue director
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
78 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Recording)
Finland:K-16 | Sweden:15 | UK:A (original rating) | UK:PG (tv rating) | UK:PG (video rating) (1996) | USA:TV-PG

Did You Know?

This film was selected to the National Film Registry, Library of Congress, in 1994.See more »
Continuity: During a climactic montage set at an East Coast racetrack on the Fourth of July, people in the stock footage crowd scenes are dressed in winter garments nobody would wear in the middle of summer.See more »
Wally:What do you mean "gangsters"? It's business.See more »
Movie Connections:
String Quartet opus 131, no. 14: Ist MovementSee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
31 out of 34 people found the following review useful.
beyond film noir...a classic and pessimistic view of humannature, 2 August 2000
Author: drmality from rockford, il

Superficially, "Force of Evil" can be considered a film noir and gangster movie. But it is so much deeper than that. The very bleak message I got from the film is that even decent people must submit to corruption to survive.

The character of Leo, superbly played by Thomas Gomez, is inherently honest and noble but he must live and work in the naturally shady numbers racket. He knows that he will be eventually crushed. This knowledge makes Leo one of the most bitter and tragic characters in film...a decent man whose life is dominated by futility.

The protagonist of the film, portrayed by John Garfield, is Leo's brother. He has ridden his job as a sleazy mob lawyer to a life of fame and ease. He has everything Leo doesn't. Yet despite his blustery banter, he,too,is uneasy with his position. He knows Leo is headed for disaster and pulls all the strings he can to protect him, even though Leo reacts to him with contempt. Their relationship is doomed by the corrupt methods both use to survive. Garfield's character finds redemption of a sort by the film's end but not before inevitable tragedy has struck.

There are many more levels to this complex film and discussion of them all could fill many pages. Above all, it is a beautiful movie,expertly directed with tremendous black and white imagery. The dialogue combines snappy patter with almost poetic sensibility. And the performances of all concerned are top notch. This is truly a treasure of cinematic art. Be prepared to think deeply when you watch it

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