Harry Belafonte was both producer and star of this hard-edged film noir crime drama. Dave Burke (Ed Begley, Sr.) is an ex-cop who has been kicked off the force for refusing to inform on his colleagues to the State Crime Committee. Short on money, the former policeman jumps to the other side of the law and plans to knock over a bank in upstate New York. He'll need help, so Burke brings in two other men to assist him -- Johnny Ingram (Belafonte), a jazz musician with an addiction to gambling that's put him deep in debt to gangster Bacco (Will Kuluva), and Earl Slater (Robert Ryan), a disturbed war veteran who hasn't been able to find work after serving time for manslaughter. While their common greed and desperation has brought these men together, their differences threaten to tear them apart, especially when Slater's fear and hatred of black men rises to the surface. Blacklisted screenwriter Abraham Polonsky co-wrote the screenplay for Odds Against Tomorrow, using his friend John O. Killens as a "front." John Lewis of the Modern Jazz Quartet contributed a memorable musical score.
by Mark Deming synopsis