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No Way Out (1950)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | September 1950 (USA)
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A black doctor is assigned to treat two white racist suspects who are brothers, and when one dies, it causes tension that could start a race riot.
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Richard Widmark ... Ray Biddle
Linda Darnell ... Edie Johnson
Stephen McNally ... Dr. Dan Wharton
Sidney Poitier ... Dr. Luther Brooks
Mildred Joanne Smith Mildred Joanne Smith ... Cora Brooks
Harry Bellaver ... George Biddle
Stanley Ridges ... Dr. Sam Moreland
Dots Johnson Dots Johnson ... Lefty Jones
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Storyline

The Biddle brothers, shot while robbing a gas station, are taken to the prison ward of the County Hospital; Ray Biddle, a rabid racist, wants no treatment from black resident Dr. Luther Brooks. When brother John dies while Luther tries to save him, Ray is certain it's murder and becomes obsessed with vengeance. But there are black racists around too, and the situation slides rapidly toward violence. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

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Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

USA

Release Date:

September 1950 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La porte s'ouvre See more »

Filming Locations:

USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Lesser Samuels' original story was bid on by Warner Brothers, Paramount Pictures, Columbia Pictures, and Universal-International, in addition to Twentieth Century Fox, which signed him in January 1949 to a ten-week contract to write the screenplay. See more »

Goofs

After Dr. Brooks retrieves the spinal tap tray from the cabinet and heads back to the ward where Ray and John Biddle are being treated, the shadow of the boom microphone can be briefly seen on the wall upper left on the screen. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Dan Wharton: We wanted to examine your ex-husband's body. To make sure he died from the causes we think he did. We're not permitted to without permission of the family.
Edie Johnson: Well, what about Johnny's brothers?
Dr. Dan Wharton: They won't allow it.
Edie Johnson: For cash they will.
Dr. Dan Wharton: I'm afraid not.
Edie Johnson: For two bits they'd sell his eyeballs.
Dr. Dan Wharton: You're fond of them, I can see that.
Edie Johnson: They're lovable.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The 20th Century Fox logo appears without its familiar fanfare. Instead, the film's music theme begins when the logo is displayed. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Six Degrees of Separation (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

Don't Get Around Much Anymore
(uncredited)
Music by Duke Ellington
Lyrics by Bob Russell
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A still powerful race-conflict melodrama
28 June 2002 | by som1950See all my reviews

As in other 1950s films, Richard Widmark is very scary and Sidney Poitier very noble herein. There is little preaching in Mankiewicz's screenplay and it has splendidly filmed action sequences. The rap that Mankiewicz's films are "all talk and no action" is untenable (see, especially, "The Quiet Man" and "Five Fingers"), though the talk he wrote was often very incisive and very witty.

Notable for the debuts of Poitier, Ossie Davis, and Ruby Dee, this melodrama is of more than historical interest. It is a gripping, noirish tale of a nightmare experienced by a young black doctor. Although the ending is predictable, and Linda Darnell's character chances unconvincingly often and unconvincingly far (and her clothes are inconceivable for a drive-in car hop!), "No Way Out" is more than a historical curiosity. (And Mankiewicz deserves reconsideration as one of the directors who really was the author of the films he directed, up there with Billy Wilder and Preston Sturges.)


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