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>
The score was written by The Modern Jazz Quartet's pianist, John Lewis. One of the cues, the self-explanatory "Skating in Central Park," became a regular part of the MJQ's repertoire, and was also reused for a similar scene in Little Murders (1971). See more »
When Johnny is rudely interrupting the female singer, she says "Harry, please", using Belafonte's real name instead of his character's name. See more »
Good low budget heist film. Ryan's character is one of the ugliest portrayals of a white racist in film. Belafonte's character is one of the most multi-faceted and complex potrayals of an African American up until that time, and the performance doesn't date at all. Wise keeps the pacing taut and the suspense high. There's great black and white location shooting in New York City and upstate in Hudson, New York. Other things of interest: it's written by black-listed Abraham Polonsky under a pseudonym (check out his great "Force of Evil"); Cicely Tyson appears in a bit part; Richard Bright portrays a pretty overt homosexual for the time; early use of a zoom lens and infrared photography; edited by Dede Allen; some interiors shot at the old Gold Medal Studios in the Bronx.
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