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No Way Out (Fox Film Noir)
No Way Out
Fox Film Noir
Actors: Richard Widmark, Linda Darnell, Stephen McNally, Sidney Poitier, Mildred Joanne Smith
Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Genres: Drama, African American Cinema
UR     2006     1hr 46min

Nominated for the 1950 Oscar® for Best Writing, Story and Screenplay, this intense drama about racial hatred pulls no punches. When a white patient in a hospital dies under the care of a black intern (Sidney Poitier), the...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Richard Widmark, Linda Darnell, Stephen McNally, Sidney Poitier, Mildred Joanne Smith
Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Creators: Milton R. Krasner, Joseph L. Mankiewicz, Barbara McLean, Darryl F. Zanuck, Lesser Samuels
Genres: Drama, African American Cinema
Sub-Genres: Classics, African American Cinema
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Format: DVD - Black and White - Closed-captioned,Dubbed
DVD Release Date: 03/07/2006
Original Release Date: 08/16/1950
Theatrical Release Date: 08/16/1950
Release Year: 2006
Run Time: 1hr 46min
Screens: Black and White
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 14
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: English, English
Subtitles: English, Spanish

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Movie Reviews

Unbridled racial strife
Cory D. Slipman | Rockville Centre, N.Y. | 08/01/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Joseph L. Mankiewicz's able direction accurately chronicles the ugliness of racism as seen through the eyes of the characters in the flick "No Way Out".

Sidney Poitier is his first starring role plays dedicated and idealistic physician Dr. Luther Brooks. Poitier is working the prison ward of the county hospital when Ray Biddle played by Richard Widmark and his brother Johnny are brought in. They both had been shot in the leg by cops during a gas station heist.
Widmark, a hellacious bigot, balks when he and his brother are examined by a black doctor.

Poitier becomes suspicious that brother Johnny Biddle is in much more dire straits than from just a leg wound. Fearing brain damage he performs a spinal tap but the patient expires during the procedure. Widmark immediately blames Poitier for killing his brother. Poitier with full support of his boss Dr. Wharton played by Stephen McNally, requests an autopsy to prove the suspected presence of a brain tumor. Widmark however refuses.

The brother's ex-wife Edie played by Linda Darnell is coaxed by the doctors into changing Widmark's mind. The plot plays out with the despicable Widmark using a third brother to mobilize their lowlife racist friends to attack the local black neighborhood. A racial riot ensues and the hospital becomes full of victims but an unsatisfied Widmark is still out for blood.

"No Way Out" is a very disturbing look at the 1950's version of racism. The picture is not a very pretty one. Both Widmark playing the mad dog racist and Poitier the moralistic physician gave very effective performances."
No Way Out
Steven Hellerstedt | 05/30/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"There's nothing much subtle about NO WAY OUT. Two men, two brothers, are injured by the police while committing a petty crime. The men are transported to the prison ward of the county hospital, where one of the brothers dies while being treated by a young intern. The surviving brother vows mortal vengeance. The doctor needs the approval of a family member to conduct an autopsy to prove his competence and relieve his conscious.

It's a suitably sturdy set-up for what could have been an unspectacular urban melodrama. Trouble is NO WAY OUT is pretty spectacular. For starters, the young doctor is black and the surviving brother is a virulent racist. The talent behind the movie is, to put it mildly, impressive. It begins with the amazing producer Darryl Zanuck, the motor behind such thinking-person movies as The Grapes of Wrath & The Snake Pit, and who seemingly was incapable of making a bad movie. Joseph L. Mankiewicz wrote and directed this movie, and though nominated for an 1951 Oscar for Best Director lost out to himself when he won it for another, much different, classic, All About Eve.

Message movies have a tendency to collapse under their moral weightiness. NO WAY OUT is a movie with a social conscious, but it, for the most part, steers clear of the pulpit. Richard Widmark is perfectly cast as the racist Roy Biddle, who is quite possibly the most loathsome major character in film history. Sidney Poitier, in his first movie, brings just the right blend of intelligence and dignity to his part as the young physician under the gun. Rounding out this unusual triangle is Linda Darnell as the ex-wife of the dead brother.

NO WAY OUT is an uncomfortable movie to watch. Roy Biddle is a vocal racist, and he uses just about every ugly name in the book, loudly and often. There are some scenes of the Beaver Canal group, Biddle's cronies, preparing to attack the black part of town, that are nightmarish. Linda Darnell, the car-hop girl who thought she'd crawled away from Beaver Canal, comes across as an almost tragic figure. This is an intelligent, driving movie, with some scenes that might not be appropriate for young children. The Warner Brothers print is in very good condition, and, as always, the man who can name every actor in history, and has anecdotes to back him up, Eddie Muller's commentary track enhances the experience.
Ahead of it's time
Chan Chan | Arkansas, Dover USA | 11/24/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"No Way out is a good movie about a black doctor who treats two white brothers.When one brother dies,the other accuses the doctor of murder,because the doctor is black.This movie is well directed,has great black and white photography.LINDA DARNELL,RICHARD WIDMARK and SIDNEY POITIER in his film debut are all good."
Another incredible Richard Widmark performance
silvermorr | Kansas City US | 08/03/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I am SUCH a big fan of Richard Widmark, he's my favorite actor, and SO underappreciated (Well,at least in my opinion)I'm thrilled this has finally been released on video because it's not only a landmark film - it's a great one. Also of course we have the chance to see the brilliant debut of Sidney Poitier and he is very powerful. But Richard is just mesmerising playing a character so convincingly different from the way he really was. The storyline has already been recapped by others, suffice to say, this is a slice of history that pulls no punches in tone and language of the racial tensions of 1950s America. I am sure as with the film Pinky, the studio took a risk with this release. Even if you are not a rabid fan of Richard (or Sidney!)this film holds up over repeat viewings, and so is worth having in your collection."