Force of Evil (1948)

TOMATOMETER

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Joe Morse wants to consolidate all the small-time numbers racket operators into a single powerful organization. But, his older brother is one of these small operators, and he wants things to stay the way they are, rather than dealing with the gangsters who dominate the big-time.
Rating:
PG
Genre:
Classics , Drama , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:
MGM

Cast

Beau Bridges
as Frankie
John Garfield
as Joe Morse
Thomas Gomez
as Leo Morse
Paul Fix
as Ficco
Arthur O'Connell
as Link Hall
Marie Windsor
as Edna Tucker
Roy Roberts
as Ben Tucker
Howland Chamberlain
as Freddie Bauer
Cliff Clark
as Police Lieutenant
Georgia Backus
as Sylvia Morse
Tim Ryan
as Johnson
Budd Fine
as Butcher
Joel Fluellen
as Father
Larry J. Blake
as Detective
Barbara Stone
as Secretary
Joey Ray
as Gunman
Will Lee
as Waiter
Murray Alper
as Comptroller
Edward Peil Sr.
as Counterman
Richard Reeves
as Policeman
Richard Gordon
as Attorney
Paul McVey
as Hobe Wheelock
Max Wagner
as Policeman
Paul Newlan
as Policeman
Bill Neff
as Law Clerk
Jimmie Dundee
as Dineen
Milt Kibbee
as Richards
Larry Blake
as Detective
Milton Kibbee
as Richards
Jessie Arnold
as Sorter
Joe Warfield
as Collector
Barbara Woodell
as Receptionist
Margo Woode
as Receptionist
Frank Pharr
as Bootblack
Frank O'Connor
as Bailiff
Beatrice Pearson
as Doris Lowry
Stanley Waxman
as Manager
Chuck Hamilton
as Policeman
Estelle Etterre
as Secretary
Ralph Dunn
as Policeman
David Fresco
as Gunman
Carl Sklover
as Banker
Shimen Ruskin
as Sorter
Helen Eby-Rock
as Secretary
Robert B. Williams
as Elevator Starter
Mervin Williams
as Goodspeed
Jay Eaton
as Attorney
Paul H. Frees
as Elevator Operator
Sherry Hall
as Sorter
John Indrisano
as Henchman
Sam Ash
as Man
George Magrill
as Policeman
Bert Davidson
as Attorney
Phil Tully
as Policeman
Carl Saxe
as Policeman
Allen Mathews
as Badgley
Margaret Bert
as Sorter
Esther Somers
as Mrs. Lowry
Ray Hyke
as Policeman
Jim Drum
as Banker
Bert Hanlon
as Cigar Man
Bob Reeves
as Policeman
Robert Strong
as Court Reporter
Jim Davies
as Policeman
Perry Ivins
as Mr. Middleton
Jim Toney
as Sorter
Fred Somers
as Policeman
Ralph Brooks
as Attorney
Richard Elmore
as Attorney
Carl Hanson
as Attorney
Sid Tomack
as `Two & Two' Taylor
Mildred Boyd
as Mother
John Collum
as Dancer
Roger Cole
as Attorney
Ray Hirsch
as Newsboy
David McKim
as Cashier
Louise Saraydar
as Hatcheck Girl
Bud Wiser
as Policeman
Dave Fresco
as Gunman
Ann Duncan Crimmins
as Norval's Girl Friend
John Butler
as Banker
Betty Corner
as Sorter
Jan Dennis
as Mrs. Bauer
Eileen Coghlin
as Secretary
Barbara Combs
as Dancer
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Force of Evil

Critic Reviews for Force of Evil

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (2)

For all its unpleasant nature, it must be said that this film is a dynamic crime-and-punishment drama, brilliantly and broadly realized.

Full Review… | August 7, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

A poetic, terse, beautifully exact, and highly personal re-creation of the American underworld, with an unpunctuated Joycean screenplay by Polonsky that is perhaps unique in the American cinema.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

The film cleverly uses illicit numbers running as a metaphor for unethical business practices in post-war America

Full Review… | January 9, 2015
Cinemania

Force of Evil is a masterpiece, usually lumped in with films noir of the period, but unique.

Full Review… | August 22, 2012
Combustible Celluloid

One of the major themed films of the '40s.

Full Review… | November 11, 2004
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Top notch Garfield vehicle

October 23, 2004
Kansas City Kansan

Audience Reviews for Force of Evil

½

"Force of Evil," starring John Garfield, is a serious and heavy noir depicting corruption in New York in the early days after WWII. It could have been a great film, but it drowns in muddled and overly complex storytelling. I could barely keep track of the characters. The story threads I could keep track of were phenomenal. Also great was the titanic performance from supporting actor Thomas Gomez, who plays the brother of Garfield. I had never heard of Gomez until this, but I see that he was nominated for an Oscar the year before "Force of Evil" came out (for "Ride the Pink Horse," a film I've never heard of). So clearly he was a heavy hitter in his day. It's a shame that his reputation faded over time. Unfortunately, alongside everything that's great in "Force of Evil" is a ton of overly complex storytelling that must have left 98% of the audience in 1948 scratching their heads. No wonder this film garnered no Oscar nominations.

William Dunmyer
William Dunmyer

Super Reviewer

½

Here it is, 60 years after the release of this cinematic pearl, and I'm just now discovering it. The only thing that beats watching a film noir classic again and again is watching one for the very first time. Thank you John Garfield.

Randy Tippy
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

Plausible facts on this one.Aggressive till it bleeds.I saw this film on a cine-club somewhere in Athens.All 5 of us who attended were shocked at the boldness of that period,no,wait: the undercover "beauty" of it.McCarthy was approaching and if Polonsky was given better chances,he'd do miracles with noir stories like this.The edge of small-time con-men as an alternative title.

Dimitris Springer
Dimitris Springer

Super Reviewer

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