Odds Against Tomorrow (1959)

Odds Against Tomorrow (1959)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Odds Against Tomorrow Photos

Movie Info

Though not as well known as other genre entries, Odds Against Tomorrow is considered the last of the true '40s and '50s film noirs. Featuring a dark jazz score, a brooding atmosphere, and racially conscious themes, Odds is the story of a robbery gone awry. The downward spiral begins when ruthless killer and crook Eric Slater teams up with crooked ex-cop Dave Burke, and deeply indebted gambler/lounge singer Johnny Ingram to rob a bank in upstate New York. Trouble arises from the start because Slater has an insane hatred for African Americans and Ingram is black. Ingram, who owes a fortune to homosexual gangster Bacco, is desperate to get the needed cash lest Bacco harm Ingram's family. Tensions between Ingram and Slater are high from the start, but Burke mediates, and they proceed with their plan. Right off the bat, things go terribly wrong. First, Slater is recognized by a gas station attendant while Ingram is required to fill out police paperwork after he witnesses an accident. In order to get into the bank, Ingram impersonates a delivery boy and brings food to the bank employees. Unfortunately, the real delivery boy shows up with the cops. A shoot-out ensues and Burke is hit. Unable to get the other two the keys to the getaway car, he shoots himself. Meanwhile Slater and Ingram flee to an oil refinery. Unable to contain their mutual hatred, the two begin shooting. A stray bullet blows up a nearby tanker and themselves. The charred cinders of their bodies are found after the inferno subsides. With the grisly remains barely recognizable as human let alone black or white, the pointlessness of their hatred and bigotry stands as their greatest legacy.
Classics , Drama , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
United Artists

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Harry Belafonte
as Johnny Ingram
Ed Begley Sr.
as Dave Burke
Robert Ryan
as Earle Slater
Wayne Rogers
as Soldier in Bar
Will Kuluva
as Bacco
Lew Gallo
as Moriarity
Mae Barnes
as Annie
Lois Thorne
as Eadie
Zohra Lampert
as Girl in Bar
William Zuckert
as Bartender
Burtt Harris
as George
Clint Young
as Policeman
Ed Preble
as Hotel Clerk
Mel Stewart
as Elevator Operator
Ronnie Stewart
as Fan with Dog
Marc May
as Ambulance Attendant
Lou Martini
as Captain of Waiters
Floyd Ennis
as Solly
William Adams
as Bank Guard
Fred Herrick
as Bank Manager
Mary Boylan
as Bank Secretary
John Garden
as Bus Station Clerk
Allen Nourse
as Police Chief
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Critic Reviews for Odds Against Tomorrow

All Critics (4) | Top Critics (2)

A taut, downbeat, New York-shot bank heist thriller.

Full Review… | January 25, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Ambitious but mainly unsuccessful.

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

A powerful film noir that underscores socially conscious issues.

Full Review… | January 29, 2005
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Quote not available.

July 6, 2005

Audience Reviews for Odds Against Tomorrow


Subtle and well performed, Odds Against Tomorrow is a standard issue piece of noir filmmaking. Yet another heist movie, this one focuses more on backstory than the actual crime. That approach is refreshing, since we already know the heist is going to completely go wrong at some point. They always do. Featuring some great shots, this has the look of a classic crime caper, replete with the tough guy dialogue. All the players in this piece are down on their luck small time crooks in need of a break. As one would expect, superb performances are delivered by Ed Begley as Dave and Harry Belafonte as Johnny. Security/getaway driver, Earl, is a royal son-of-a-bitch. His shameless racist rants quickly get on the nerves of his partners in crime. Despite their protests the guy is relentless in his prejudiced diatribe. Dave and Johnny both know that they have a job to do, but they can at least get along, goddamnit. As you would expect, Earl's intolerance leads to their ultimate demise The only gripe I have about this is the shoddy editing at the end. There's no lead up to the final disaster. It's just, BLAM!, and then the calm after the storm. It's almost like they lost the footage prior to post -production and just threw together what they had. I'm joking of course, I'm sure the director got coverage, but for some reason chose not to use it. Seriously, the last sequence of shots is a jumbled mess. Also, the lead up to the climax is a little baffling. I understand that Harry Belafonte's character is more than a little pissed off, but you'd think he'd focus more on self preservation than revenge. Despite this, there is a payoff at the conclusion. The last uttered line is both ironic and macabre. Always end on a high note...

Ed Bookman
Ed Bookman

Solid crime caper is a little heavy on the symbolism but is well acted and tightly directed with an intriguing and apt music score. Gloria Grahame, who looks pretty rough, is wasted in a small meaningless part.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

Good stuff. It's been quite a few years since the last time I saw a Harry Belafonte film, I had forgotten just what a tremendous actor he really is (was). This is a noir classic that will hold your attention wire to wire. Note: Did the ending remind anyone else of White Heat? ("Top of the world, Ma!")

Randy Tippy
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

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