7.4/10
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Odds Against Tomorrow (1959)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Thriller | November 1959 (USA)
Dave Burke hires two very different debt-burdened men for a bank robbery. Suspicion and prejudice threaten to end their partnership.

Director:

Robert Wise

Writers:

William P. McGivern (novel), Abraham Polonsky (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Harry Belafonte ... Ingram
Robert Ryan ... Slater
Shelley Winters ... Lorry
Ed Begley ... Burke
Gloria Grahame ... Helen
Will Kuluva ... Bacco
Kim Hamilton ... Ruth
Mae Barnes ... Annie
Richard Bright ... Coco
Carmen De Lavallade ... Kitty
Lew Gallo ... Moriarity
Lois Thorne Lois Thorne ... Eadie
Wayne Rogers ... Soldier in Bar
Zohra Lampert ... Girl in Bar
Allen Nourse Allen Nourse ... Police Chief
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Storyline

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>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The director of "I WANT TO LIVE" makes you live the Fury...the Violence...the excitement of your Lifetime! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

November 1959 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Odds Against Tomorrow See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

HarBel Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Ontario)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Bacco: I'll kill you and everything you own!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in What's My Line?: Shelley Winters (2) (1960) See more »

Soundtracks

All Men Are Evil
Written by Harry Belafonte and Milton Okun
Performed by Mae Barnes and Harry Belafonte
See more »

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User Reviews

 
social crime drama
17 February 2005 | by RanchoTuVuSee all my reviews

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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