Entertainment Weekly - 03/31/1995
"...Highly stylized..." -- Rating: A
USA Today - 05/28/2004
"Pearson's scenes with Garfield are among the most supercharged ever..."
Uncut - 02/01/2006
"A socially conscious noir steeped in atmosphere and paranoia, with stunning dialogue."
Sight and Sound - 03/01/2006
"This was surely Garfield's finest hour: he conveys brilliantly his character's ruthlessness and his sense of loss and yearning."
A lawyer gets caught in a three way squeeze between his racketeer boss, his racketeer brother, and the anti-crime tactics of a new prosecutor who would like to jail the entire lot. Based on the novel TUCKER'S PEOPLE by Ira Wolfert. Directorial debut for the later black-listed Polonsky.
FORCE OF EVIL was added to the Library of Congress National Film Registry in 1994.
Additional cast: Paul McVey (Hobe Wheelock); Jack Overman (Juice); Barbara Woodell (Mary); Raymond Largay (Bunty); Stanley Prager (Wally); Allan Mathews (Badgley); Jan Dennis (Mrs. Bauer); Georgia Backus (Mrs. Morse); and Sid Tomack (Two and Two).
FORCE OF EVIL was Abraham Polonsky's directorial debut. Polonsky was blacklisted by Hollywood after a hearing with the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) in 1951. (He refused to confirm or deny being a member of the Communist party.) Using a pseudonym, Polonsky wrote for television and worked as a Hollywood script doctor during his period of exile. In 1968, his name appeared on the credits of MADIGAN (directed by Don Siegel; screenplay by Abraham Polonsky and Henri Simoun). Two years later Polonsky directed his second film, TELL THEM WILLIE BOY IS HERE.
The seven-year-old Beau Bridges, son of Lloyd and brother of Jeff, made his screen debut with FORCE OF EVIL.