A police detective investigating a jewel robbery discovers evidence that points to his girlfriend as the culprit, although she claims she was framed. He arrests her anyway, and she is ... See full summary »
Shubunka (Barry Sulivan) is a cynical gangster who controls the Neptune Beach waterfront. He runs a numbers racket with the local soda shop owner. The police are in his pocket and the local hoods are on his payroll.
Dave Burke is looking to hire two men to assist him in a bank raid: Earle Slater, a white ex-convict, and Johnny Ingram, a black gambler. Both are reluctant; but Burke arranges for Ingram's creditors to put pressure on him, while Slater feels humiliated by his failure to provide for his girlfriend; they eventually accept. But Slater loathes and despises blacks, and the tensions in the gang rapidly mount.Written by
David Levene <D.S.Levene@durham.ac.uk>
Harry Belafonte starred in this, the first film-noir with a black protagonist. Belafonte selected Abraham Polonsky, who had written and directed a famous noir, Force of Evil (1948), to write the script. As a blacklisted writer Polonsky used a front, John O. Killens, a black novelist and friend of Belafonte's. (In 1997, the Writers Guild of America officially restored Polonsky's credit.) See more »
Ryan and Begley in car enroute to case the place which they plan to rob, are seen going southbound on NYC's Harlem River Drive towards Manhattan. In next scene, Begley says to Ryan, "...it's about 100 miles up the Hudson..." They are going in the wrong direction for upstate NY. See more »
Robert Wise's Odds Against Tomorrow grinds along to an inevitable conclusion, but offers a great performance by Ed Begley as Dave Burke, an ageing ex con looking to set up one last job. Filmed in black and white in winter in New York (both the city and a small-town upstate venue where the bank is) it has a drabness that permeates the whole film. Robert Ryan plays racist small-timer Earle Slater, who must team up with Johnny Ingram (Harry Belafonte) a jazz singer/vibraphonist who owes gambling debts to mobster Bacco played by Will Kuluva. Shelley Winters plays Slater's girlfriend Lorrie, a lonely woman with a steady job trying to buy his affection. Their relationship is based more on mutual need than love, her for sex and him for the money and company. Begley as Dave Burke must referee between his two cohorts. The racial tension between Slater and Ingram is carried to the extreme, and in the end it is what does in the heist. The subdued jazzy musical score combined with the bleak photography make this one moody movie. While the ending for Begley is pure drama, for Ryan and Belafonte it is too ironic for its own good, a clear example of the so-called message interfering with the plot, or maybe the message was the plot.
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