Forces of Evil

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“Forces of Evil” is a thriller film American 1948, directed by Abraham Polonsky and starring John Garfield and Thomas Gomez. The film tells the story of a successful lawyer, played by Garfield, who is involved in the world of gambling and illegal betting.

The plot takes place in the Wall Street neighborhood of New York City, where Joe Morse (played by Garfield) works as a lawyer for a criminal organization that operates an illegal betting network. When his brother Leo (played by Gomez) gets involved in an illegal betting operation involving a small neighborhood bank, Joe realizes that his life and that of his brother are in danger.

The film explores themes such as greed, corruption and the struggle between good and evil. Joe Morse finds himself torn between his ambition for professional success and his desire to protect his brother and do the right thing. Throughout the story, Joe discovers that corruption is rampant in all aspects of society, including lawyers, politicians and financial institutions.

“Forces of Evil” is known for its distinctive visual style and complex storytelling. Polonsky’s direction uses light and shadow to create a dark and suspended atmosphere. The film is also known for its sharp dialogues and intense performances of the lead actors.

Despite being critically acclaimed, “Force of Evil” was not a major commercial success upon its release. However, over the years it has become a cult film in the noir genre and is often cited as one of the best films of its genre. The film has been lauded for its sophisticated writing and the way it deals with the social and political issues of the time.

In conclusion, “Forces of Evil” is a classic film noir that offers a dark and critical view of 1940s American society. Through an intricate plot and complex characters, the film explores the moral conflict of a man caught up in a world of corruption and greed.



The plot of “Forces of Evil” revolves around Joe Morse (played by John Garfield), a successful lawyer involved in the world of illegal gambling and betting. Joe works for the criminal organization of Ben Tucker (played by Roy Roberts), an unscrupulous man who runs an illegal betting network.

One day, Joe gets involved in a deal involving a small neighborhood bank. His brother Leo (played by Thomas Gomez) is involved in the deal, and is worried about the safety of the bank. Joe realizes that the operation could endanger not only the life of his brother, but also the future of the bank and all those who have deposited their savings.

Joe is faced with a difficult choice: on the one hand, he has the opportunity to make a great deal of money and achieve the financial success he has always wanted; on the other hand, he must decide whether to betray his conscience and endanger the lives of those involved in the illegal operation.

As Joe tries to navigate this dark and dangerous world, he discovers that corruption is rampant everywhere: from lawyers to politicians to financial institutions. Meanwhile, Leo struggles with his own conscience and must make a decision about his participation in the operation.

Tensions rise when Joe learns that Ben Tucker has a plan to bust the bank and make huge sums of money. Joe is faced with a difficult internal battle between greed and loyalty to his brother and the greater good.

Without revealing too many details about the final plot, “Forces of Evil” offers a gripping story full of twists and turns, exploring the moral conflict of Joe Morse and the dark side of American society in the 1940s.

Movie Characters

Here are some of the main characters featured in the movie “Forces of Evil”:

Joe Morse (played by John Garfield): The film’s protagonist, Joe is a successful lawyer involved in the world of illegal gambling. He is ambitious and wants to achieve maximum professional success, but he finds himself torn between greed and the desire to do the right thing to protect his brother.

Leo Morse (played by Thomas Gomez): Joe’s brother, Leo is involved in the illegal betting operation that puts the neighborhood bank at risk. He is an honest man and concerned about the safety of others. Leo finds himself in an internal conflict about his involvement in the criminal underworld.

Ben Tucker (played by Roy Roberts): Head of the criminal organization that Joe works for. Tucker is an unscrupulous man determined to make big profits through illegal gambling and betting. He is the main antagonist of the film.

Doris Lowry (played by Beatrice Pearson): Woman who works at the neighborhood bank involved in the illegal operation. Doris becomes a key figure in the plot as Joe grows close to her and worries about her well-being.

Edna Tucker (played by Marie Windsor): Wife of Ben Tucker, Edna is a manipulative and greedy woman who seeks to take advantage of her husband’s criminal underworld.

These are just some of the main characters featured in the movie “Forces of Evil”. Besides them, there are other secondary characters who contribute to the plot and atmosphere of film noir.



The film “Forces of Evil” was produced by Enterprise Productions, an independent production company founded by John Garfield, the lead actor of the film. The film’s production was handled by Bob Roberts.

Directed by Abraham Polonsky, who also wrote the screenplay together with Ira Wolfert. Polonsky, in addition to being a director, was also a talented writer and screenwriter. “Forces of Evil” was his directorial debut.

The film was shot primarily in New York City, with some scenes set on Wall Street and other boroughs of the city. Cinematography was by George Barnes, who used atmospheric lighting and strategic use of light and shadow to create the typical noir mood.

The soundtrack of the film was composed by David Raksin, who created a score that fits perfectly with the tense and dramatic atmosphere of the story.

Forces of Evil was released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) and premiered on December 25, 1948. Though critically acclaimed for its sophisticated writing and dark atmosphere, the film it did not achieve major commercial success upon its release.

However, over the years, “Force of Evil” has been re-evaluated and considered a classic of the noir genre. It has become a cult film for lovers of the genre and is often cited as one of the best examples of film noir of the 40s.

The production of ‘Forces of Evil’ was important to John Garfield’s career and helped solidify his reputation as one of the leading actors of the period.

Distribution and Reception

“Forces of Evil” was released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) and had its first showing on December 25, 1948. However, it did not achieve great commercial success upon its release. Despite this, the film received positive reception from critics, who appreciated its sophisticated writing, the performances of the actors, and the dark film noir atmosphere.

Critics praised Abraham Polonsky’s direction and praised his ability to create a tense and suspended atmosphere using light and shadow. In particular, the performances of John Garfield and Thomas Gomez were highly praised, with many critics noting their intensity and believability in their respective roles.

Despite its relative failure at the box office, over the years “Force of Evil” has been re-evaluated and considered a classic of the noir genre. It has become a cult film for fans of the genre and is often cited as one of the best examples of film noir of the 1940s.

The film has been lauded for its sophisticated writing and social commentary, which explores themes such as greed, corruption and the struggle between good and evil. His pessimistic vision of the American society of the time was reflected in the reflections of critics and the public interested in the noir genre.

Overall, despite its low initial popularity, Forces of Evil has gained significant recognition over the years and is regarded as a classic of the noir genre, prized for its artistry and thematic relevance.


The style of “Forces of Evil” is typically associated with the noir genre, characterized by a strong dark atmosphere, a complex narrative and a particular attention to the use of light and shadow.

Directed by Abraham Polonsky uses atmospheric lighting to create a tense and dramatic atmosphere. The scenes are often characterized by plays of light and shadows, which help to emphasize the contrasts between good and evil, morality and corruption.

The film features sophisticated writing and sharp dialogues. The words are used precisely and meaningfully, often with a double entender that adds tension and ambiguity to the plot. The dialogues reflect the cynicism and sharpness typical of the noir genre.

The use of photography in Force of Evil is remarkable. The black and white photography, curated by George Barnes, contributes to the dark and intense atmosphere. Barnes uses strong light and contrast to bring out the details and to emphasize the noir aspect of the story.

The actors’ interpretation is intense and realistic. John Garfield gives a powerful and emotional performance as Joe Morse, the lawyer involved in the gambling world. Thomas Gomez, as Leo Morse, brings a sense of authenticity and vulnerability to the character. The performances of the actors help to make the characters believable and to involve the audience in the story.

Overall, the style of “Force of Evil” is distinctive and representative of the 1940s noir genre. The use of light and shadow, sophisticated writing and the intense performances of the actors combine to create an enthralling and breathtaking cinematic experience.



The director of “Forces of Evil” is Abraham Polonsky. Born December 5, 1910 in New York City, Polonsky was both a talented director and screenwriter.

Polonsky entered the film business in the 1930s, working as a screenwriter for several films. He has become known for his ability to create sharp dialogue and his ability to explore complex social themes through his works.

“Forces of Evil” was his first film as a director. He also wrote the screenplay for the film together with Ira Wolfert. Polonsky brought his signature style to film noir, using light and shadow effectively to create a dark and dramatic atmosphere.

However, Polonsky’s career was hampered due to his political beliefs. During the McCarthy era of the 1950s, he was blacklisted in Hollywood due to his alleged communist sympathies. This limited his opportunities to work in the film industry for many years.

After a period of exclusion, Polonsky returned to directing films in the 1960s, but his career never achieved the same success as Force of Evil. However, he was recognized as one of the great directors and screenwriters of the noir genre and continued to work in film and television until his death in 1999.

Abraham Polonsky has left a lasting impression on cinema with his distinctive style and his ability to explore complex social themes. “Forces of Evil” is one of his best known works and represents a milestone of the noir genre.

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