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

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Down 15% 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 »
(11 articles)
No Man’s Woman
 (From Trailers from Hell. 20 November 2015, 7:19 PM, PST)

‘Force of Evil’ is just as smartly told as it is crafted
 (From SoundOnSight. 3 April 2015, 3:00 AM, PDT)

Pop Culture Called For Revolution In 2014
 (From Hope for Film. 16 December 2014, 5:15 AM, PST)

User Reviews:
Influential Film 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?

In order to show cinematographer George Barnes how he wanted the film to look, Abraham Polonsky gave him a book of Edward Hopper's Third Avenue paintings.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 »
[opening lines - voice over]
Joe Morse:This is Wall Street... and today was important because tomorrow - July Fourth - I intended to make my first million dollars. An exciting day in any man's life. Temporarily, the enterprise was slightly illegal. You see I was the lawyer for the numbers racket.
See more »
Movie Connections:
String Quartet opus 131, no. 14: Ist MovementSee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
12 out of 18 people found the following review useful.
Influential Film, 2 February 2006
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York

The VHS version I own of Force of Evil is one with a forward by Martin Scorsese. In it Scorsese says that this film was the first one that depicted a world he knew, growing up in New York City. Scorses was mesmerized by it as a kid and studied it frame by frame as when he grew up. He pays tribute to Force of Evil saying that you can see the influence of it Mean Streets, Raging Bull, and Goodfellas.

Of course the fact that the film was shot totally on location in scintillating black and white noir in New York City, gave it a dimension that no other noir films have, save possibly Night and the City which was also shot on location in London.

John Garfield who was as quintessential a New Yorker as you could get plays Joe Morse, smooth lawyer for a big time racketeer Roy Roberts who is looking to either take over or muscle out the small time policy banks in the numbers racket. One of those banks is owned by Garfield's brother, Thomas Gomez.

Garfield is as ruthless as Roberts, but with a velvet glove. He tries to get Gomez to go along with the syndicate, but Gomez balks. There's also a prosecutor looking into the numbers racket and a tapped phone which figures prominently in the climax.

Given the leftwing polemics of both the star and director Abraham Polonsky, Force of Evil got the attention of the ultra rightwing House Un American Activities Committee. Polonsky was blacklisted for over 20 years and Garfield died under the strain of the investigation.

Given what has happened to the Soviet Union, I wonder if Garfield and Polonsky were alive today what they would say and how they would feel about their work here. It's interesting to speculate.

But as entertainment Force of Evil is a great success and that is the first rule of film. Also look for a good performance by Marie Windsor as Roberts's wife with a yen for Garfield. One of her first femme fatale roles and one of her best.

Was the above review useful to you?
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Why was the informer given away? gcassidy2
An underrated noir gem Mod1911
The cinematography Noir-It-All
So Over Rated - Garfield Too ! cal_wad
trick to get 776 pzanardo
Ileana Douglas and Marie Windsor voacor
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