Terese Booth

Written by Terese Booth

Modified & Updated: 25 Jun 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett

Source: Plex.com

Odds Against Tomorrow is a classic film that holds a special place in the hearts of movie enthusiasts. Directed by Robert Wise and released in 1959, this gripping noir thriller has captivated audiences for decades with its intense storyline, exceptional acting, and thought-provoking themes. The movie tells the story of three desperate men who join forces to carry out a dangerous bank heist, unaware of the cascading consequences that await them. As the plot unfolds, viewers are immersed in a world where tensions rise, friendships are tested, and moral dilemmas reign supreme. With its exceptional screenplay, stellar performances by the cast, and mesmerizing cinematography, Odds Against Tomorrow continues to be regarded as a must-watch film for lovers of the genre. In this article, we will explore 41 fascinating facts about Odds Against Tomorrow, diving deep into its production, cast, reception, and trivia to celebrate this cinematic masterpiece.

Key Takeaways:

  • “Odds Against Tomorrow” is a groundbreaking film that fearlessly tackled racial tensions and societal norms, paving the way for diverse storytelling in Hollywood.
  • This timeless classic continues to captivate audiences with its gripping narrative, powerful performances, and thought-provoking exploration of human nature.
Table of Contents

“Odds Against Tomorrow” was released in 1959.

This gripping film noir, directed by Robert Wise, made its way into theaters and captivated audiences with its intense storyline.

It is based on the novel “Black Monday” by William P. McGivern.

The screenplay, written by Abraham Polonsky, took inspiration from the suspenseful crime novel, bringing it to life on the silver screen.

The movie stars Harry Belafonte, Robert Ryan, and Ed Begley.

This dynamic trio delivers stellar performances, each portraying compelling characters that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

“Odds Against Tomorrow” tackles themes of racism and personal redemption.

The film delves deep into the complexities of racial tensions during the 1950s, challenging societal norms through its thought-provoking narrative.

It was one of the first Hollywood movies to feature an interracial team of criminals.

At a time when interracial relationships on screen were taboo, “Odds Against Tomorrow” fearlessly pushed boundaries and shattered norms.

The movie was critically acclaimed for its tension-filled atmosphere.

The expert direction by Robert Wise and the mesmerizing performances by the cast created a palpable sense of suspense throughout the film.

“Odds Against Tomorrow” was a box office success.

It garnered significant attention from audiences worldwide, cementing its place as a classic in the film noir genre.

The film’s score was composed by John Lewis.

The hauntingly beautiful jazz soundtrack perfectly complements the on-screen drama, enhancing the overall viewing experience.

The movie’s title reflects the characters’ struggles against their own misfortunes in life.

It highlights the challenges they face as they find themselves caught up in a dangerous heist that threatens to unravel their lives.

“Odds Against Tomorrow” was ahead of its time in its portrayal of complex character dynamics.

It delves deep into the psychological depths of its protagonists, showcasing their vulnerabilities and internal conflicts.

The film received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actor – Robert Ryan.

Ryan’s powerful performance as the conflicted ex-cop garnered widespread recognition and critical acclaim.

It was shot in stunning black and white.

The use of black and white cinematography adds a layer of atmospheric intensity to the film, emphasizing its noir aesthetics.

“Odds Against Tomorrow” boasts a memorable climax that will leave you breathless.

The tension builds up throughout the film, culminating in a thrilling and unexpected finale that will have you on the edge of your seat.

The movie explores the consequences of greed and the destructive power of desperation.

As the characters’ motivations intertwine, “Odds Against Tomorrow” showcases the devastating effects of their choices.

The film’s production was initially delayed due to casting difficulties.

However, the final cast selection resulted in an ensemble of talented actors who brought their characters to life with gripping performances.

“Odds Against Tomorrow” was lauded for its realistic portrayal of Harlem.

The film showcases the vibrant and diverse neighborhood, capturing both its beauty and the underlying tensions of the time.

This movie marked the last on-screen appearance of iconic actress Shelley Winters.

Winters’ portrayal of the femme fatale in “Odds Against Tomorrow” was a captivating testament to her talent.

The film’s screenplay was praised for its sharp dialogue and social commentary.

Abraham Polonsky’s writing skillfully exposed the racial and societal issues of the era, challenging viewers to confront uncomfortable truths.

“Odds Against Tomorrow” has been acknowledged as an influential work in American cinema.

Its exploration of racism, greed, and redemption has served as a source of inspiration for many films that followed.

The movie’s themes are still relevant today, making it a timeless classic.

The social issues it addresses continue to resonate with audiences, sparking discussions on race and cultural tensions.

“Odds Against Tomorrow” showcases the power of collaboration amidst adversity.

As the characters are forced to work together despite their differences, the film emphasizes the importance of unity in overcoming challenges.

The movie’s atmospheric cinematography enhances its noir atmosphere.

The expertly crafted visuals create a moody and suspenseful ambiance, drawing viewers into the gritty world of the characters.

“Odds Against Tomorrow” received positive reviews from critics upon its release.

Many praised its daring narrative and powerful performances, solidifying its place in the pantheon of film noir classics.

The film’s tight pacing keeps audiences engaged from start to finish.

Every scene contributes to the overarching tension, ensuring that viewers remain captivated throughout the movie.

“Odds Against Tomorrow” explores the complexities of human nature.

Through its characters, the film delves into the depths of morality, showcasing the shades of gray that exist within us all.

The movie’s realistic portrayal of violence shocked audiences at the time.

Its gritty and unflinching depiction of the consequences of crime added an additional layer of authenticity to the narrative.

“Odds Against Tomorrow” serves as a snapshot of a changing era in American history.

The film reflects the shifting social and racial landscape of the 1950s, offering a glimpse into the challenges faced by marginalized communities.

The movie’s script underwent several revisions before reaching its final form.

This dedication to storytelling resulted in a tightly woven narrative that explores the depths of its characters.

“Odds Against Tomorrow” was a critical success but initially went underappreciated by the general public.

However, over the years, its reputation has grown, with audiences recognizing its significant contributions to the film noir genre.

The film’s atmospheric lighting enhances the tension of every scene.

The clever use of lighting and shadows adds an extra layer of suspense, heightening the film’s underlying sense of unease.

“Odds Against Tomorrow” highlights the destructive nature of prejudice and stereotypes.

The interconnected stories of its characters challenge preconceived notions, highlighting the individual struggles behind societal divisions.

The movie’s gripping storyline holds surprises until the very end.

Twists and turns abound in “Odds Against Tomorrow,” ensuring that audiences are kept guessing and engaged throughout.

“Odds Against Tomorrow” offers a compelling examination of the consequences of one’s actions.

As the characters’ paths intertwine, the film explores the repercussions of their choices and the price they pay for their decisions.

The film’s stellar performances earned it multiple award nominations.

The cast’s dedication to their roles, combined with their exceptional acting skills, garnered recognition from prestigious award ceremonies.

“Odds Against Tomorrow” is a timeless exploration of the human condition.

Its themes of redemption, personal struggles, and the desire for a second chance resonate with audiences across generations.

The movie’s stylish visuals contribute to its overall noir aesthetic.

From the costume design to the carefully selected locations, every visual element adds depth and enhances the film’s atmosphere.

“Odds Against Tomorrow” offers a thought-provoking social commentary on systemic racism.

Through its characters’ experiences, the film exposes the harsh realities faced by marginalized communities and the urgency for change.

The film’s gritty portrayal of crime adds a layer of authenticity to the story.

It doesn’t shy away from depicting the harsh realities of a life of crime, grounding the narrative in a stark and unforgiving reality.

“Odds Against Tomorrow” serves as a reminder of the power of cinematic storytelling.

Its ability to shed light on societal issues and provoke discussions showcases the potency and impact of the medium.

The movie’s character-driven narrative allows for deep exploration of its protagonists.

Through their interactions and struggles, “Odds Against Tomorrow” reveals the complexities of human nature with nuance and depth.

“Odds Against Tomorrow” continues to inspire filmmakers and audiences alike.

Its enduring legacy is a testament to its timeless themes and powerful storytelling, solidifying its place as a true cinematic gem.

So, there you have it – 41 incredible facts about the movie “Odds Against Tomorrow” that shine a light on its impact and significance in the world of cinema. Whether you’re a fan of film noir or simply enjoy a captivating story, this movie is definitely worth adding to your must-watch list!


In conclusion, “Odds Against Tomorrow” is a timeless film that continues to captivate audiences with its powerful storytelling and groundbreaking performances. With its authentic portrayal of racial tension, complex characters, and thrilling plot, the movie has cemented its place in cinema history. Its exploration of themes such as redemption, greed, and the consequences of one’s actions make it a thought-provoking and memorable experience.The film’s unique blend of film noir and social commentary sets it apart from other movies of its time. Its gritty visuals, atmospheric soundtrack, and evocative cinematography add depth to the narrative, enhancing the overall viewing experience. “Odds Against Tomorrow” serves as a testament to the artistic vision of its director and showcases the talents of its talented cast.Decades after its release, the film remains relevant, resonating with audiences who appreciate its cinematic brilliance. Its legacy as a standout piece of cinema lives on, influencing future filmmakers and reminding us of the power of storytelling.


Q: When was “Odds Against Tomorrow” released?

A: “Odds Against Tomorrow” was released in 1959.

Q: Who directed “Odds Against Tomorrow”?

A: The film was directed by Robert Wise.

Q: Who are the main actors in the movie?

A: The film stars Harry Belafonte, Robert Ryan, and Shelley Winters in the lead roles.

Q: Is the movie based on a book?

A: Yes, “Odds Against Tomorrow” is based on a novel by William P. McGivern.

Q: What genre does the film belong to?

A: The movie is a combination of film noir and social drama.

Q: Does “Odds Against Tomorrow” tackle any social themes?

A: Yes, the film explores themes of racial tension, redemption, and the consequences of one’s actions.

Q: Is “Odds Against Tomorrow” considered a classic?

A: Yes, the film is widely regarded as a classic in cinematic history.

Q: Did “Odds Against Tomorrow” receive any awards?

A: While the film did not receive major awards, it has been recognized for its exceptional filmmaking and performances.

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