Odds Against Tomorrow

Odds Against Tomorrow

1959, USA, Dir: Robert Wise

Festival of the Future City/
Sun 10 November 2019

Odds Against Tomorrow

1959, USA, Dir: Robert Wise

Odds Against Tomorrow
Sun 10 November 2019,

Often considered the last movie of the classic film noir era, this film stars Robert Ryan as a racist ex-con reluctantly teaming up with a black jazz musician (Harry Belafonte) to pull a bank robbery in upstate New York masterminded by a bitter former cop (Ed Begley). Shown as part of the Festival of the Future City film noir series.

Partly shot on location, Philip French described the depiction of New York City as ‘morally and physically chilling’. Produced by HarBel Productions, a company founded by Belafonte.

‘On one level, Odds against Tomorrow is a taut crime melodrama. On another, it is an allegory about racism, greed and man’s propensity for self-destruction…

Director Robert Wise has drawn fine performances from his players. It is the most sustained acting Belafonte has done. Ryan makes the flesh crawl as the fanatical bigot. Begley turns in a superb study of a foolish, befuddled man…

‘Shelley Winters etches a memorable portrait, and Gloria Grahame is poignant in a brief appearance. Joseph Brun’s black and white photography catches the grim spirit of the story and accents it with some glinting mood shots. John Lewis’ music backs it with a neurotic, edgy, progressive jazz score.’ – From original review in Variety

This film is part of Festival of the Future City – an initiative of Festival of Ideas. Festival of the Future City takes place every two years in Bristol celebrating and debating the future of cities with talks, walks, debates, arts projects and new books.

The 2019 Festival of the Future City includes a film noir programme; classic utopian films about cities; cities in silent cinema; documentaries on New Towns, democracy, the housing crisis and the anthropocene in the series: Cities, Future Cities and Film. We are grateful to BFI for their support for this programme. See the rest of the Festival of the Future City film programme here.

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Images courtesy of Park Circus/MGM Studios

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