Film Noir 2023
Screening Dates
  • August 12, 2023 6:30
  • August 14, 2023 8:30
  • August 20, 2023 6:30
  • August 28, 2023 8:30
Gloria Grahame Centenary

A hidden noir gem … [Odds Against Tomorrow] is an incisive, gorgeously constructed exploration of racial hatred and greed, using a genre that is always at its best when examining the ills at the heart of American identity.”

Angelica Jade Bastién, Vulture

Moody noir locations and nasty racial tension are combustible stuff in this taut thriller, one of the last films of the noir cycle (it appeared more than a year after Orson Welles’s Touch of Evil). Harry Belafonte is Johnny Ingram, a nightclub singer with a gambling problem. Dangerously in debt, he reluctantly agrees to join disgraced ex-cop Burke (Ed Begley) in a bank heist. Burke’s other recruit is racist ex-con Slater (Robert Ryan), whose hatred of Johnny threatens to derail the scheme. Gloria Grahame plays Slater’s mistress; she’s the ultimate black widow femme fatale … [begging] Robert Ryan to excite her before they make love by relating how it feels to kill someone” (Robert Porfirio, Film Noir: The Encyclopedia). The marvellous score is by John Lewis of the Modern Jazz Quartet, while the direction is by the versatile Robert Wise (Born to Kill, The Day the Earth Stood Still). Belafonte, who died in April, produced the film under his Harbel Productions banner.

A neglected masterpiece … The genius of the film is that its Greek tragedy is rooted in the here and now of a racially divided 1950s America.”

Paul Tickell, Sight and Sound