7.3/10
5,422
63 user 55 critic

Force of Evil (1948)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | March 1949 (USA)
An unethical lawyer, with an older brother he wants to help, becomes a partner with a client in the numbers racket.

Director:

Abraham Polonsky

Writers:

Abraham Polonsky (screenplay), Ira Wolfert (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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 ... Detective Egan
Paul McVey ... Hobe Wheelock
Beatrice Pearson ... Doris Lowry
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Storyline

Lawyer Joe Morse wants to consolidate all the small-time numbers racket operators into one big powerful operation. But his elder brother Leo is one of these small-time operators who wants to stay that way, preferring not to deal with the gangsters who dominate the big-time. Written by John Oswalt <jao@jao.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

John Garfield puts his Body and Soul into Force of Evil.

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

March 1949 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tucker's People See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$948,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,165,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Paul Fix replaced Sheldon Leonard in the role of Bill Ficco. See more »

Goofs

When Joe reads the newspaper at the beginning of the film about the prosecutor cracking down on the numbers racket, the second paragraph of the story is about another topic entirely. See more »

Quotes

Joe Morse: I'm a lawyer - your clever little lawyer - and I've taken over the formation of this numbers monopoly to make it legal, respectable, and very profitable for you. And I've done it for two reasons.
Ben Tucker: What's the second reason?
See more »

Alternate Versions

All existing copies of the film are of the version that was cut by 10 minutes in order to fit into a double bill. See more »


Soundtracks

String Quartet opus 131, no. 14: Ist Movement
(uncredited)
Music by Ludwig van Beethoven
See more »

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User Reviews

A haunting, haunted film
3 August 2006 | by chureiSee all my reviews

FORCE OF EVIL has remained hovering over me like a ghost all these years. I was studying at Manhattan's Grand Street Playhouse at the time, and the political climate that was beginning to engulf the public had started. Polonsky barely hid the real undercurrent of this remarkable film. When it finally hit the VHS bins, I was almost first on line. I agree with all of the positive remarks on this strong movie, that has all kinds of ghostly memories hovering over it. I did indeed develop a strong crush on Beatrice Pearson, who was an established Broadway actress. She later did quite a turnaround, and even more effective role in LOST BOUNDARIES with excellent work alongside Mel Ferrer, Susan Douglas, Richard Hylton and Carleton Carpenter. From what I have read (if it is to be believed), she was difficult with a friend around offering advice at every turn. Pearson, after BOUNDARIES, returned to Broadway. Wherever she is now may be a mystery, but if she ever reads this, I hope she knows that this is one fan who still smiles at thoughts of her hair falling over the side of her face, her lovely smile, and the sight of her sitting atop a high hall mantle.


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