7.4/10
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61 user 42 critic

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

French director Jean-Pierre Melville credited this film with being a formative influence on his work and made references to it in his films. See more »

Goofs

As Robert Ryan first drives the souped up Chevy wagon, we hear him grind the gears. Later, as we watch the speedometer climb to 100 MPH, we see the left side of the Powerglide shift quadrant on the steering column. Automatic transmissions don't make gear grinding noises. See more »

Quotes

Ingram: Yeah, yeah, I know I got rid of the headache. Now I got cancer.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Los Angeles Film Noir (2015) 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

Men in winter
1 April 2003 | by manuel-pestalozziSee all my reviews

This is one of my favourite American crime movies. It sits right in the middle between John Huston's "Asphalt Jungle" and William Friedkin's "The French Connection" – probably the two all time best of the police/caper genre.

In "Asphalt Jungle", the suave Alonzo Emmerich says that crime is a left handed kind of human endeavour. And this describes exactly what the three guys in this movie are doing. There is even a scene that looks like a reference to that statement as Ed Begley's character is staring at a monument with the weird inscription to the effect that every man should do what his hands are capable of doing. Robert Ryan plays a kind of a brother of the Sterling Hayden character in "Asphalt Jungle", an embittered farmer's son from Kentucky who could not make it in this world, has no prospects and sees the bank robbery as his last chance. There is no doubt that Ryan was a far more talented actor than Hayden, he gives his character real depth, you almost feel sorry for him although that character is really disgusting.

"Odds against tomorrow" precedes "The French Connection" with its truly breathtaking documentary style photography, the use of music and sound effects to heighten the tension (the soundtrack is just terrific, Harry Belafonte‘s talents were put to good use in a very sensible way) and in the way the characters are shown just waiting out in the cold.

It is really a film about men in winter, where there is no hope left. Great care was taken to make all the three main characters human beings with real feelings. In this aspect the ending really is disappointing – it seems to belong to an other movie, its symbolism does not fit in at all and gives the aspect of racism an importance that in this story it does not really possess. The racism of the Ryan character seems like a pretext – he was so miserable, he just needed somebody to hate, it could have been any particular group of living beings.


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