Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman Revealed
The Inside Story Of Sideshow Collectibles
Guardians Of The Galaxy Review
Nick Frost:
My Movie Life

The World's End star's pick of the flicks
Promotion: Destiny Awaits
Win a limited edition PS4 and a copy of Destiny
Feature
Become A Heist Films Expert In Ten Easy Movies
Master a genre in just a handful of films

submit to reddit

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Back 7 of 10 Next
Become A Heist Films Expert In Ten Easy Movies | Odds Against Tomorrow (1959)
Odds Against Tomorrow (1959)

Tagline: “He knew where $50,000 lay begging to be STOLEN!”

According to James Ellroy, “the best heist-gone-wrong movie ever made”, The Odds Against Tomorrow plays like The Defiant Ones’ uglier, meaner kid brother. Director Robert Wise added a thick slaver of racial anger to the noir stylings of ‘50s crime classics to serve up a stripped-back melodrama simmering with tension and peppered with shotgun dialogue. Jazz man Harry Belafonte (who also produced under his HarBel marque) and broken-down war vet Robert Ryan are handpicked by Ed Begley’s bitter ex-cop to take down an upstate bank. Bad choice. The hatred between the two boils over from the beginning – “I’ve been handling them all my life,” spits Ryan’s racist dixielander, “he’s no different because he’s got him a $20 pair of shoes” – while Shelley Winter’s loyal moll only stirs the pot. The build-up to the heist takes us from smoky New York clubs to a wintry New York State, backdropped with skeletal trees and deserted freeways, while a taut score by the Modern Jazz Quartet builds the mood to its pulsing crescendo. An underrated slice of heist noir, we’re with Ellroy on this one.

Iconic moment: The final shoot-out in a oil refinery is a fiery homage to White Heat.

What to quote: “It's just one role of the dice. Doesn't matter what color they are so long as they come up seven.”

Pub trivia: A self-confessed Marxist, screenwriter Abraham Polonsky was blacklisted by UAC and remained uncredited for his work on the film until 1997.

Further reading… High Sierra (1941), Appointment With Danger (1951), Odds Against Tomorrow (1959)

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Back
7 of 10
Next

Have Your Say
Register or login now to let us know what you think.

SPECIAL FEATURE
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time EMPIRE READERS' POLL: THE 301 GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME
You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Everything You Need To Know About The Dragonriders Of Pern
The lowdown on Warner Bros. new fantasy sci-fi

A Pocket Guide To Game Of Thrones’ New Cast Members
Know your Doran Martell from your Nym Sand

Empire's The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies Covers Are Here
Bard The Bowman or Smaug The Magnificent?

Directors Special: Peter Hyams Goes Film-By-Film
The veteran director on Timecop, Outland, 2010, Enemies Closer and more

Explore The Massive Avengers: Age Of Ultron Comic-Con Banner
Use our interactive gadget to zoom in on Hulk, Iron Man, The Vision and co. in action

The 10 Biggest Stories Of Comic-Con 2014
The shocks to emerge from this year's geek-fest. Avengers! Max! Mann!

Models Inc.: The Inside Story Of Sideshow Collectibles
How the likes of Batman, Superman and Luke Skywalker become collectible figures

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time Subscribers' Cover

Subscribe today and get the cover and 3 issues for only £10!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 6 issues of Empire for just £15!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)