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

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Overview

User Rating:
7.4/10   3,912 votes »
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Down 42% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Abraham Polonsky (screenplay) and
Ira Wolfert (screenplay) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Force of Evil on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
25 December 1948 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
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 »
Awards:
1 win See more »
User Reviews:
Abraham Polonsky's masterpiece See more (50 total) »

Cast

  (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


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Additional Details

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

Did You Know?

Trivia:
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 »
Goofs:
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 »
Quotes:
Leo Morse:I am sensible. I am calm. I'll give you my answer calmly and sensibly, my final answer. My final answer is finally no. The answer is no! Absolutely and finally no! Finally and positively no! No! No! No! N - O!See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Red Hollywood (1996) (V)See more »
Soundtrack:
String Quartet opus 131, no. 14: Ist MovementSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
16 out of 23 people found the following review useful.
Abraham Polonsky's masterpiece, 15 January 2006
Author: krorie from Van Buren, Arkansas

Oft times an author's first major work is his/her best work. This is true for director Abraham Polonsky. Had Polonsky not been blacklisted by the Hollywood and Congressional bigots who knows what he might have done. Certainly his earlier script for "Body and Soul" is one of the best in movie history. Since he was later blacklisted by the power hungry hooligans of the nation, it is easy to read too much Marxism and Communist psycho-babble into "Force of Evil." In pointing out that there is not much difference between underworld numbers banking and banking in the world of acceptable business, Polonsky is utilizing social and political criticism, not of necessity a Marxist slant. Marxism is an entire Utopian recreation of the economic world order, not artistic expression and intellectual conceptualization as presented by Polonsky in "Force of Evil." The director/writer is also concerned with moral bankruptcy in justifying evil as a means of rationalizing big profits from illegal activities.

There is a spin off story concerning two brothers, one of whom has warped scruples who helped his younger brother become a successful if now corrupt corporate lawyer with no scruples until tempered by the seemingly innocent babe in the woods Doris Lowry (Beatrice Pearson) who in reality has questionable morals herself yet clothed in hypocrisy. Both Doris and Leo Morse (Thomas Gomez)are pursued by their own demons. The viewer has to determine where the moral depravity or evil actually lies and with whom. The title "Force of Evil" could just as well be "THE Force of Evil," since evil tends to be almost omnipotent that every mortal is tempted and it takes very strong souls indeed to resist and remain true to heart. It's much easier to make a deal with the devil in the fashion of Faust and to take the wrong highway at the crossroads.

The brilliant John Garfield who left this world much too soon never gave a poor performance. Only Garfield could have done justice to the complicated complex character of Joe Morse. Yet Thomas Gomez stays up with Garfield all the way and nearly steals the show as Joe's impenetrable sibling whose persona appears one-dimensional on the surface until one begins to scratch away the enamel.

A delectable bonus for the viewer is the magnetic New York City photography that takes on the appearance of Edward Hopper paintings, as Polonsky intended. All the exterior shots are to be savored but one that sticks in the mind long after the film ends is near the final credits when Joe seeks where his brother Leo's body has been dumped. The narration by Joe tells it all as he runs in a desperate gait downward toward the murky water, with Doris trying to keep up but mainly just watching.

One of the neglected movie gems of the 1940's, not to be missed.

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