Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr Viber
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
Subscribe To Empire!
Save up to 70%
Empire
Film Studies 101
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.


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
The 15 Most Controversial Alternate Endings
How some of your favourite films could have finished...

80 Of The Best Movie Star Adverts
From Sly Stallone selling bread to Hugh Jackman dancing for Ice Tea

Showrunner Matthew Weiner Reveals 7 Mad Men Secrets
The truth about The Beatles and that lawnmower

New Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer Breakdown
Everything you need to know about the second teaser

Podcast #157: Alan Rickman
From A Little Chaos to Die Hard and back again

From Hell! 22 Stalker Psychodramas
From fatal attractions to single white females

Alfonso Gomez-Rejon On The Town That Dreaded Sundown
The American Horror Story director on his cult slasher remake

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Subscribe now and save up to 70%

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save money on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Subscribe now and save up to 70%
Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire Digital Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  Digital Edition  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)