The Shelley Winters Blogathon – Odds Against Tomorrow (1959)


This is the second of three reviews for Gill of RealWeegieMidget’s and Erica of Popitty Talks Classic Films’ The Shelley Winters Blogathon which will take place 1-3 October.

Thanks for letting me take part Ladies!

“I’ll kill you and everything you own! ” – Bacco

Number of Times Seen – 1 (25 Sep 2019)

Brief Synopsis – Two criminals in dire need of getting out of debt are recruited by a former lawman to commit the perfect robbery, but the differences between their personal beliefs cause a lot of trouble during the planning of the crime.

My Take on it – When I decided to participate in this blogathon, I decided to randomly choose films to watch based on the film’s title and premise and this one sounded quite good.

I had never heard of it beforehand and was interested in seeing what it was all about.

They do a really good job here of creating an enjoyable and thrilling crime noir story that throws in the issue of racism to make it even more entertaining and poignant.

They manage to develop these characters really well and this helps give the viewer a better understanding of why each of them both need to be a part of the robbery even when their personal beliefs and thinking get in the way.

This movie has a great cast with Robert Ryan, Shelley Winters, Harry Belafonte and Ed Begley Jr. all giving great performances here.

Winters has a relatively small role here, but it’s quite significant in the way that her character is able to be so impactful on the decisions of her boyfriend who needs to find a way to suppress his own racist feelings in order to get the job done.

The pacing of the film is great and it is constantly on the move as it all unfolds before us in a very thoughtfully planned script.

This film has a great message that is pretty clear the entire way through and they manage to present it in a very poignant and intelligent way.

Bottom Line – Nicely done crime noir that adds issues of racism into the mix which adds so much to the way this story is perceived. The characters are developed well and we get a clear understanding why each of them feels the need to be a part of this crime, but their personal beliefs constantly get in the way. The cast is superb with Ryan, Belafonte, Begley and Winters all giving great performances here. Winters has a relatively small part, but she is quite impactful with what we get to see because she helps her boyfriend decide whether to suppress his own racist feelings in order to commit the crime. The story moves at a great pace and is planned out quite well. The message of the film is very clear and extremely poignant in the way that it is presented to us. Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Harry Belafonte starred in this, the first film-noir with a black protagonist. Belafonte selected Abraham Polonsky, who had written and directed a famous noir, Force of Evil (1948), to write the script. As a blacklisted writer Polonsky used a front, John O. Killens, a black novelist and friend of Belafonte’s. (In 1997, the Writers Guild of America officially restored Polonsky’s credit.) (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy (8/10)

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8 thoughts on “The Shelley Winters Blogathon – Odds Against Tomorrow (1959)

  1. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1959 | MovieRob

  2. Pingback: The Shelley Winters Blogathon has arrived! – Poppity Talks Classic Film

  3. Pingback: BLOGATHON… The Next Chapter of the Shelley Winters Blogathon – Realweegiemidget Reviews Films TV Books and more

  4. Thanks for turning me on to this little known film, Rob. Shelley Winters did quite a few interesting cameo roles in the 1950s…one of my favorites is her small but key role in The Big Knife as a loud mouthed starlet who is silenced by her studio. Will check this one out too for sure!

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