Pssst, want to check out No Way Out in our new look?
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I know Mankiewicz is often underrated, but it's criminal that this has received so little attention. Still gripping and unbelievable it came out in 1950.
At home: Sidney Poitier's first credited screen role is No Way Out, a medical drama in which he plays a young intern, and the only black doctor on staff at the County Hospital, who may or may not have caused the wrongful death of a criminal brought in with a bullet wound. It only really matters because the guy's brother, a raging racist played by Richard Widmark, believes he did and is calling for war between his white ghetto and the black neighborhood where Poitier's doctor lives. First role or not, Poitier is a movie star FROM JUMP. You can't take your eyes off him, and you find yourself frowning when he's not included in a scene, at least early on, though Amanda Randolph as the white doctor's housekeeper is very touching in her supporting role, and I think we care for Linda Darnell's character when she's put under threat for siding with Poitier. In terms of portraying racism, No Way Out lays it on THICK, and Widmark is vile by any standard, but it's a good thriller that understands how to use Chekhov's gun, and ends on a cracking line. Kind of the template for Poitier's career - how many movies did he make that were straight up about this? - but it distinguishes itself by also being about a medical dilemma that transcends questions of race.
The language is hard to sit through but it is realistic for the time period.
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In 2 official lists
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This movie ranks #291 in Eureka!'s The Masters of Cinema Series
This movie ranks #302 in TSPDT's 1,000 Noir Films