Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Force Of Evil (Abraham Polonsky, 1948)

I watched this for the first time last night. Polonsky was blacklisted three years later (1951) as part of Hollywood’s Commie purge and it is a classic critique of capitalism (we’re all just numbers and the corrupt Western world revolves around money) if you want to read it that way. Although there’s some very noirish lighting at times it’s not about mean streets stalked by a lone crusader for justice. Instead, Joe Morse (John Garfield) is continually trying to save his brother, played by Thomas Gomez, from financial ruin during the big changes in the numbers racket. The dialogue, written by Polonsky, is sharp, intelligent and during Gomez’s final scene, painfully poetic. This is a great piece of work and tragic testimony to talent that was cast out for beliefs which America was not willing to entertain during the witch-hunt years.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...