An absolute masterpiece. So Good Abe wasn’t allowed to direct another film until 1969. Blacklisted he became a “front” — writing “Odds Against Tomorrow” for Robert Wise (with Nelson Gidding taking credit which wasn’t restored until after Abe’s death.
Gertrude Berg also gave Abe work writing “The Godlbergs” for television.
“Force of Evil” is a film abut the numbers racket
- which is to say it’s about capitalism as it’s actually practiced in America. Several of the actors cast actually look like Jim Cramer in fact. It’s about brothers- one bad, one worse — and their relationship. When Marty Scorsese saw it he realized he was looking into a mirror.
Abe’s comeback began in 1967 with the script for Don Siegel’s “Madigan” in 1969 he directed “Tell Them Willie Boy is Here.” — with Robert Redford and Robert Blake. At the last in 1971 he directed “Romance of a Horsethief” — a film every bit as great as “Force of Evil” but in an entirely different mode. Where the first was dark and anguished the last is light and boyant. He’d earned it..But he was always that way in the face of adversity.
When he became employable again he was working at Universal. One day in the cafeteria Edward Dmytrck passed by and yelled out “Hey Abe!” to which Abe cheerily replied “FUCK YOU!”
As chance would have it the Los Angeles Film Critics Association honored Abe the same year Gadge got his special Oscar. Addressing us Abe said"Well, was it worth it? Was it worth it taking the shit you’re going to take for giving this award to me? Cause on the other side of town their giving an award to a RAT!!!
Everyone says ’Forgive and forget." Well I NEVER forgive because I NEVER forget!"