7.3/10
5,755
66 user 57 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 »

Photos

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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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Did You Know?

Trivia

Identified by critic Thom Andersen as an example of "film gris", a suggested sub-category of film noir incorporating a left-wing narrative. 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 didn't have enough strength to resist corruption, but I was strong enough to fight for a piece of it.
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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 »

Connections

Featured in New York at the Movies (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

String Quartet opus 131, no. 14: Ist Movement
(uncredited)
Music by Ludwig van Beethoven
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User Reviews

 
A movie that portrays the tragedy of "victimless" crime.
4 March 2005 | by densculSee all my reviews

This movie is about the "numbers" racket that existed at the time the movie was made. Younger viewers, familiar with state lotteries may not appreciate the pervasive influence that was required to operate a nickel and dime play of individuals, that translated into millions that went to corrupt local politicians, judges, and police. One reviewer said the crime was petty which is true; but that makes the cost to the characters involved so tragic and cinematcally vivid. John Garfield acting is at its best as he portrays a person trying to balance ambition, romance and family loyalty. The minor characters are all nice people who found themselves caught in a dirty business that seemed harmless to everyone who played the numbers. This movie shows the real cost in personal terms. The writing, acting and direction of this movie excels any crime movie of this generation.


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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
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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