A very good and famous Film Noir drama about racketeering directed by
the soon-to-be (in 1951) Blacklisted director Abraham Polonsky.
Darker than Dark and critical about the human society and civilization.
Anti-capitalistic perhaps and films like this would soon be
impossible to make when Joe McCarthy started his witchhunting for commies.
Polonsky co-wrote the script and Force of Evil has a
gorgeous Film Noir style of photo as the skillful cinematographer George
Barnes ( i.a.
Rebecca, Academy Award, and Spellbound, both Hitchcock films) shot it.
The soundtrack David "Laura Theme" Raksin provided.
John Garfield plays Joe Morse, a smart lawyer on the
payroll of the mob. Their betting syndicate in New York plans a "coup"
on the 4th
of July, the National Day. The plan is to hit their rival bookmakers
businesses (who also functions as some sort of small banks giving
loans to people) so hard that they will go out of business, and Joe
who knows about the scheme tries to make his older brother Leo
(played by the always great Thomas Gomez) who runs one of these "small
banks" to drop out before losing it all..
Joe finds himself deeply involved and on the wrong side
of the law. Marie Windsor can be seen in a small part as the wife of
one of these delightful actresses that seemed to be perfectly adapted
to the Film Noir genre, along with such favourites as Lizabeth Scott,
Ella Raines, Gloria Grahame and Jane Greer.
The film was presented in 4:3 fullscreen original ratio, black &
white, english mono audio