No Way Out

No Way Out

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz

Cast: Joseph L. Mankiewicz, Richard Widmark, Linda Darnell, Stephen McNally

     
 

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A pioneering film about racial tensions, No Way Out stars Richard Widmark as a criminal named Ray Biddle, who despises African-Americans. Sidney Poitier (in his screen debut) is the black doctor, Luther Brooks, assigned to take care of the wounded Ray. Dr. Brooks, hired by the police hospital as part of an overall program to integrate the staff, keeps hisSee more details below

Overview

A pioneering film about racial tensions, No Way Out stars Richard Widmark as a criminal named Ray Biddle, who despises African-Americans. Sidney Poitier (in his screen debut) is the black doctor, Luther Brooks, assigned to take care of the wounded Ray. Dr. Brooks, hired by the police hospital as part of an overall program to integrate the staff, keeps his temper in check as Ray spouts his racist invective. When Ray's brother, also wounded, dies in the hospital, the blustering bigot holds Dr. Brooks responsible and sends word to his gang to wreak vengeance on the city's black community. But the blacks turn the tables on the whites and fight them off. Ray then breaks out of the hospital with Dr. Brooks as hostage. His plans to kill the doctor are thwarted by Ray's girlfriend (Linda Darnell), who finally becomes fed up with his blind hatred. No Way Out was considered potent stuff in 1950; it was still regarded as a hot potato in 1962, when NBC dropped plans to telecast the film on "Saturday Night at the Movies."

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
No Way Out has dated significantly since its release in 1950, a problem that often afflicts "social message" pictures. However, it still packs a punch, especially if one is prepared to overlook its preachiness and if one has a fondness for melodramas that are very black-and-white. Although often categorized as a film noir, Way doesn't really fit into that category. It does have some striking high-contrast cinematography, and certainly Linda Darnell physically is fatale as a femme can be, but Way lacks the man-against-his-fate nihilism and other hallmarks of the genre. Way's dialogue is also not the kind associated with noir, although it possesses that special Joseph L. Mankiewicz crackle. It also, unfortunately, is overly obvious in hammering home its points. Way is best remembered as the film that gave Sidney Poitier his first big starring role, and although his career didn't take off for a few years afterward, he delivers the goods with the kind of quietly moving, dignified portrayal that he perfected in later years. Darnell is also very good, as are Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Mildred Joanne Smith, and the supporting cast in general, but it's Richard Widmark's wildly committed performance that makes the film special. Out of control and over the top, it's a psychotic performance that very few could pull off. Widmark is totally repellent, yet undeniably fascinating; one can't take one's eyes off of him, even though he's an outrageous and despicable character. The actor makes it quite believable that he could raise a riot if he so desired. Viewers should be warned, however, that Widmark's language, as befits his character, is peppered with racial epithets that even at the time were unacceptable; modern audiences may find it even harder to listen to him at times.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/07/2006
UPC:
0024543214571
Original Release:
1950
Rating:
NR
Source:
20th Century Fox
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:46:00

Special Features

Closed Caption; Commentary; Still gallery; Fox movietine news; Theatrical trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Richard Widmark Ray Biddle
Linda Darnell Edie Johnson
Stephen McNally Dr. Wharton
Sidney Poitier Dr. Luther Brooks
Mildred Joanne Smith Cora Brooks
Harry Bellaver George Biddle
Stanley Ridges Dr. Moreland
Dotts Johnson Lefty
Amanda Randolph Gladys
Bill Walker Mathew Tompkins
Ruby Dee Connie Brooks
Ossie Davis John Brooks
Ken Christy Kowalsky
Frank Richards Mac
George Tyne Whitey
Robert Adler Assistant Deputy
Bert Freed Rocky Miller
Jim Toney Deputy Sheriff
Maude Simmons Luther's mother
Ray Teal Day Deputy
Will Wright Dr. Cheney
Harry Lauter Orderly
Harry Carter Orderly
Don Kohler Orderly
Ray Hyke Orderly
Ernest Anderson Actor
Eleanor Audley Actor
Robert Davis Actor
Wade Dumas Jonah
Ralph Dunn Actor
Charles Flynn Deputy
Fred Graham Ambulance Driver
Ralph Hodges Terry
Frank Jaquet Reilly
J. Louis Johnson Actor
Stan Johnson Actor
Doris Kemper Actor
Victor Kilian Actor
Jack Kruschen Man
Eda Reiss Merin Nurse
Howard Mitchell Bailiff
Ann Morrison Actor
Kitty O'Neil Landlady
Frank Overton Intern
Dick Paxton Johnny Biddle
William Pullen Ambulance Doctor
Kathrun Sheldon Mother
Emmett E. Smith Joe
Phil Tully Actor
Ann Tyrrell Nurse
Ruth Warren Actor
Jasper Weldon Henry
Ruben Wendorf Actor
John Whitney Assistant
Mack Williams Actor
Ian Wolfe Actor
Laiola Wendorff Polish Couple
Thomas Ingersoll Priest

Technical Credits
Joseph L. Mankiewicz Director,Screenwriter
George W. Davis Art Director
William Eckhardt Asst. Director
Milton Krasner Cinematographer
Barbara McLean Editor
Alfred Newman Score Composer,Musical Direction/Supervision
Lesser Samuels Screenwriter
William Travilla Costumes/Costume Designer
Lyle Wheeler Art Director
Darryl F. Zanuck Producer

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- No Way Out
1. Main Titles [1:09]
2. Willing To Learn [3:52]
3. The Bright Biddle Brothers [3:15]
4. Spinal Tap [1:30]
5. Now That Johnny's Gone [4:46]
6. An Administrative Nightmare [3:20]
7. Set Up [2:19]
8. Seeking Permission [4:50]
9. End of His Shift [:05]
10. The Garbage of Beaver Canal [4:13]
11. Tonight Is Johnny's Night [3:40]
12. Meeting At Boot Hill [3:46]
13. Aftermath of Bigotry [2:55]
14. Forcing the Issue [2:46]
15. More Like Me [5:19]
16. People of the Dark [4:01]
17. No One Cares [3:54]
18. Silent Noise [:57]
19. Lying In Wait [7:39]
20. Don't Cry You'll Live [:28]

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