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No Way Out Reviews

A powerful social drama that sent Poitier's stock soaring. Prior to this film, he'd only made a documentary, and NO WAY OUT proved to be the picture that made him an actor to be reckoned with. Poitier is a doctor in a county hospital that serves a slum area. The place is run by McNally, who believes in giving young physicians a chance to show their mettle no matter what color they are. Widmark and Bellaver are brought to the prison ward of the hospital, the result of having been in a gun battle. Poitier attempts to save Bellaver's life, but the man dies; Portier suspects the death is the result of more than just the gunshot wound. Widmark, in another of his "crazy" roles, hates blacks and wants to kill Poitier. He engineers a riot after refusing to allow an autopsy on Bellaver that would prove Poitier correct. In response to the onslaught, a group of blacks rallies to help, and there is a bloody confrontation that winds up with Widmark being badly injured. Poitier, true to his Hippocratic Oath, tends to Widmark. Poitier, who'd been helped by Bellaver's widow, Darnell, walks out of the hospital when the mother of one of the hoodlums spits in his face. A heavy drama that points the finger at prejudice, NO WAY OUT takes awhile getting started, but once it does, hearts pound and we are tightly caught in the drama that follows. Zanuck was running the studio and took time off from the executive office to personally produce this picture. He believed in what it had to say and his mark of excellence is stamped on every frame. Mankiewicz had just won two Oscars for his work as director and screenwriter on A LETTER TO THREE WIVES the year before. He also took an Oscar for writing the screenplay for ALL ABOUT EVE the same year as this was released, as well as a nomination for having cowritten NO WAY OUT. It was his year.