7.4/10
4,903
57 user 51 critic

Force of Evil (1948)

Approved | | 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 »
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

1 win. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Body and Soul (1947)
Drama | Film-Noir | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A talented boxer's young career hits difficult terrain when an unethical promoter takes interest in him.

Director: Robert Rossen
Stars: John Garfield, Lilli Palmer, Hazel Brooks
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Nick and his partner Al stage a payroll holdup. Al is shot and Nick kills a policeman. Nick hides out at a public pool, where he meets Peg Dobbs. They go back to her apartment and he forces her family to hide him from the police manhunt.

Director: John Berry
Stars: John Garfield, Shelley Winters, Wallace Ford
The Big Combo (1955)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A police lt. is ordered to stop investigating deadly crime boss Mr. Brown, because he hasn't been able to get any hard evidence against him. He then goes after Brown's girlfriend who despises him, for information instead.

Director: Joseph H. Lewis
Stars: Cornel Wilde, Richard Conte, Jean Wallace
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

An otherwise moral captain of a charter boat becomes financially strapped and is drawn into illegal activities in order to keep up payments on his boat.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: John Garfield, Patricia Neal, Phyllis Thaxter
Gun Crazy (1950)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A well meaning crack shot husband is pressured by his beautiful marksman wife to go on an interstate robbery spree, where he finds out just how depraved and deadly she really is.

Director: Joseph H. Lewis
Stars: John Dall, Peggy Cummins, Berry Kroeger
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Dave Burke hires two very different debt-burdened men for a bank robbery. Suspicion and prejudice threaten to end their partnership.

Director: Robert Wise
Stars: Harry Belafonte, Robert Ryan, Gloria Grahame
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A man is found murdered, with witnesses convinced about the woman they saw leaving his apartment. However, it becomes apparent that the woman has a twin, and finding out which one is the killer seems impossible.

Director: Robert Siodmak
Stars: Olivia de Havilland, Lew Ayres, Thomas Mitchell
Drama | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A war-veteran-turned-truck driver attempts to avenge the crippling and robbing of his father at the hands of an amoral produce scofflaw.

Director: Jules Dassin
Stars: Richard Conte, Valentina Cortese, Lee J. Cobb
Detour (1945)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Chance events trap hitch-hiker Al Roberts in a tightening net of film noir trouble.

Director: Edgar G. Ulmer
Stars: Tom Neal, Ann Savage, Claudia Drake
Drama | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

When a lovely woman and her new husband settle in an ancient mansion on the East coast, she discovers that he may want to kill her.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Joan Bennett, Michael Redgrave, Anne Revere
Raw Deal (1948)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Joe Sullivan has taken the rap for Rick who double-crosses him with a flawed escape plan and other means intended to get rid of him.

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: Dennis O'Keefe, Claire Trevor, Marsha Hunt
Crime | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A small-time grifter and nightclub tout takes advantage of some fortuitous circumstances and tries to become a big-time player as a wrestling promoter.

Director: Jules Dassin
Stars: Richard Widmark, Gene Tierney, Googie Withers
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
John Garfield ... Joe Morse
Thomas Gomez ... Leo Morse
Marie Windsor ... Edna Tucker
Howland Chamberlain Howland Chamberlain ... Freddie Bauer (as Howland Chamberlin)
Roy Roberts ... Ben Tucker
Paul Fix ... Bill Ficco
Stanley Prager Stanley Prager ... Wally
Barry Kelley ... Detective Egan
Paul McVey ... Hobe Wheelock
Beatrice Pearson ... Doris Lowry
Edit

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

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

March 1949 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Numbers Racket See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the American Film Institute's 1998 list of the 400 movies nominated for the Top 100 Greatest American Movies. See more »

Goofs

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

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 »

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
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Non-Stop Torrent of Talk
3 February 2003 | by plaidpotatoSee all my reviews

There was something odd about this film. About the rhythm of the speech--or the rythmlessness, more like. There was much talk. The talk started the instant the credits stopped, fast talk, the actors talking fast to cram in all those words. The speech became a drone. It became white noise, ambience. Within ten minutes I was struggling not to go into a trance. Within fifteen minutes I gave in; I just stared at the pictures as the speech washed over me, like a nice cotton fluff swabbing of the brain. I may as well have watched with the sound off. The plot was lost to me. There were characters, and they talked, and they did things, and I have no idea who they were, what they were talking about, or what they were doing, but I stared at them. It wasn't that I was tired or bored, just mesmerized by the drone. I may have been better off watching with the sound off, or with the voices dubbed into French or some other language I don't understand, and reading English subtitles. At least then I would have been active and engaged.

I stared at the pictures. Some of them were nice. I like black and white movies to be very black and white, and this was, for the most part, although, like one other reviewer pointed out, there were a lot of grey interiors that were rather drab. The exterior New York scenes were few but good--Wall Street, the bridge, the lighthouse, the dead guy lying in the rocks who looked like a rock. There was a darkly lit room and a woman in a black dress with long black gloves that stretched up past her elbows, and a snatch of very white upper arms, and white curtains billowing in the background. That was nice. I liked the part in the restaurant with the silhouettes on the wall, a man smoking, and another man doing weird things with his fingers, like abstract finger puppets.

There were lots of subtle nice camera movements, usually flowing from one set of characters talking to another set of characters talking. I liked the one where the camera floated over a crowd scene and followed one character moving through the crowd, and the camera must have been suspended by a wire, or was placed at the end of a very long crane, or maybe on a catwalk, or something. It was very graceful, and I don't remember there being much talking in that scene, for once.

I liked the geometry of the character placement in a lot of the scenes (although not as much as in Anatomy of a Murder, which had really good human geometry.) There was a shot of three people standing in a kind of a triangle talking, and one of them slowly moved back, and then suddenly the camera blurted to the right a bit, and a fourth character was birthed on to the screen and they were all standing there in a parallelogram. That was good.

After reading the other mostly very eloquent reviews on this site, I really wish I'd been able to follow the plot, because it sounds interesting now. I wish I'd taped the film. I was going to vote it a 4/10, but now I think I won't vote for it at all until I have a chance to see it again and hopefully not fall into a trance.


13 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 57 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed