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Force of Evil

Force of Evil(1949)

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  • force of evil

    • kevin sellers
    • 11/20/17

    This is one of Hollywood's great studies of urban moral corruption and ultimate redemption, right up there with "Prince Of The City" and "Goodfellas." John Garfield has never been better than as Joe Morse, a young man in a hurry to make millions, but who cannot shed a coat of guilt placed over his venality. Around this towering central performance which, in my opinion, should have earned Garfield his second Oscar nomination for best actor is a wonderful supporting cast, including Thomas Gomez as Garfield's less corrupt but no less tormented older brother, Roy Roberts as Garfield's amoral gangland boss, Howland Chamberlain who was, along with Garfield and the film's director, Abraham Polonsky, blacklisted, playing a nervous book keeper with a conscience, and Beatrice Pearson as the ray of goodness that eventually takes over Garfield's soul. Also contributing to the film's excellence is the cinematography of George Barnes which captures both the beauty and ugliness of late 40s NYC, restless, moody yet lovely music by David Raksin and above all the deft direction of Abraham Polonsky in this, his first film. What is perhaps most impressive about Polonsky as a director is his ability to create a brutal world without resorting to overt violence, until the film's climax. And the final redemptive scenes of Garfield looking for and retrieving his brother's body, amid a bleak, riverside landscape, is moving in the extreme. So although the screenplay, by Polonsky and Ira Wolfert, from Wolfert's novel, can be annoyingly faux Odetsian at times and the great Marie Windsor is criminally under utilized, this is still one of the great noirs and, since it was to be Polonsky's only film for 21 years, an additional reminder if any are needed of how mindlessly destructive was the blacklist.. Give it an A minus.

  • Force of Evil

    • John
    • 8/2/13

    Overall-3 1/2 out of 5Lead Performers-4/5Supporting Cast-3/5Director-4/5Score-3/5Screenplay-3 1/2 out of 5Cinematography-4/5Importance-3/5Recommendation for fans of the genre-3/5

  • Force of Evil-It's On DVD!

    • Bruce Reber
    • 5/2/12

    "Force of Evil", a superb 1949 film noir starring John Garfield (and featured on TCM's The Essentials back in 2003) IS ON DVD! I bought it 3 years ago from Movies Unlimited, advertised all the time on TCM. If you haven't seen or heard of it, as a true film noir fan I highly recommend this somewhat obscure gem. Please update to show FOE on DVD!

  • Force of Evil (1948)

    • Jay Higgins
    • 8/8/09

    Solid film noir drama with an excellent cast. John Garfield is fantastic. I don't think he has ever been in a bad movie or has not given a great performance. Good cinematography, fast paced and very well written. Fascinating direction.

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