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Pressure Point [VHS] (1962)

Sidney Poitier , Bobby Darin , Hubert Cornfield , Stanley Kramer  |  NR |  VHS Tape
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Sidney Poitier, Bobby Darin, Peter Falk, Carl Benton Reid, Mary Munday
  • Directors: Hubert Cornfield, Stanley Kramer
  • Writers: Hubert Cornfield, Robert M. Lindner, S. Lee Pogostin
  • Producers: Stanley Kramer
  • Format: Black & White, NTSC
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • VHS Release Date: September 1, 1998
  • Run Time: 91 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6302605040
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #537,731 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Racial Drama

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Darin Gives An Amazing Performance September 14, 2003
Format:VHS Tape
"Pressure Point" is a thinking person's film, dealing with the topic of a seditious, neo-Nazi (Darin) during World War II, and the prison psyciatrist (Portier)whose job it is to determine whether the young man is sane or insane. While Portier gives an excellent, understated performance, it is Bobby Darin's film from start to finish. The young Darin (only 25 when this film was made) portrays the unbalanced, hateful neo-Nazi with a realism that is frightening. He swings from moody, pensive philosophizing to acerbic, irascible mania in the drop of a hat, without skipping a beat. At the same time, he evokes sympathy from the viewer who comes to realize that the deranged prisoner was brought up in a psychopathic family. An incredible, thought-provoking performance by a legendary talent. No wonder that Darin won the Cannes Film Festival and Golden Globe Awards as Best Actor for this performance. It was a real injustice that he was not nominated for an Academy Award. It was known in Hollywood circles that many critics who praised Darin's performance refused to push for his nomination because they were turned-off by his allegedly arrogant demeanor. Sadly, Darin's awareness of his imminent mortality instilled in him a fierce desire to succeed before his time ran out. This competitiveness was erroneously interpreted by many as "arrogance". It would take Darin another great performance the following year (1963) in "Captain Newman, M.D." for him to garner an Academy Award nomination. In this film Darin gives an equally impressive performance as a shell-shocked WWII fighter pilot. Besides being a legendary vocalist and the highest-paid Cabaret performer in the history of Las Vegas at the time of his death (Sinatra was second), Darin was also a superb actor who could do drama and comedy with equal ease. Read more ›
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Powerful Film August 18, 2003
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
"Pressure Point" is a deeply disturbing and compelling study of hate and the forces that breed it. The setting is World War II America. The protagonists are Sidney Poitier, who gives a top-notch performance as a prison psychiatrist, and Bobby Darin, who gives an equally top-notch performance as a hatemongering American Nazi.
Darin's Nazi is in jail for sedition; this is wartime, and he has been writing anti-Government, pro-Fascist tracts. Sidney Poitier's prison psychiatrist is assigned to work with Darin to determine if Darin is legally sane or insane. Therein sets the stage for a battle of wits and wills between the two.
Director Stanley Kramer masterfully sets up the tension. Here we have an avowed Nazi, hater of blacks, Jews, and anyone else that doesn't fit the bill as a "white Christian American" (Darin's words in the film), being treated by an African-American psychiatrist who has to get to the root of Darin's hateful feelings towards everything and everybody.
I won't be a spoiler by giving away what happens; suffice it to say that Kramer doesn't fall into the trap of making everything nice and neat and...no pun intended, black and white. One finds oneself identifying with Poitier's character as he feels a combination of revulsion towards, and sympathy for, Darin's Nazi. And Darin's Nazi is not a one-dimensional character...a great deal of mind-shattering trauma goes into making him what he is. But then, the film asks, does that excuse him? Should he be set free because his bigotry is "not really his fault," but rather the fault of the environment that shaped him? Poitier struggles with this question, as will the viewer.
And the frequently overlooked gem of this film is Darin's performance. He gives a performance that is incredibly powerful. It gets under your skin.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a performance by Bobby Darin June 6, 1999
Format:VHS Tape
This movie should be required viewing. It is timeless. The doctor and patient talk about the overthrow of the government and hate groups. Two subjects still with us today. Maybe, just maybe, if someone had seen this they would have recognized the signs and 169 people would not have died in my city. Bobby Darin was so good in this role he should have received an Oscar.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Does not condescend to the audience May 27, 1999
Format:VHS Tape
Typical of Stanley Kramer productions, "Pressure Point" is a fairly explosive "message" movie, and a rare one in that it does not condescend to its audience by sending the combative protagonists on their merry way at the conclusion to live in peace and harmony. Sidney Poitier is excellent as the prison psychiatrist challenged by a disturbed Nazi symphatizer played by singer Bobby Darin. It is Darin, however, who is most impressive, not only for his dynamic yet subtle performance, but for his williness to accept the role of such a bigoted, unappealing character at a time when he was still a "teen idol" married to Sandra Dee. The direction by Hubert Cornfield, the cinematography, and music are all first-rate.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intense psycho-drama duel between two legends. December 23, 1998
Format:VHS Tape
Two legends--Sidney Poitier and Bobby Darin--face off in a thrilling and disturbing psycho-drama. Poitier plays an Army psychiatrist locked in a mental duel with his charge, a manipulative Nazi sympathizer played by Darin. As the two characters appear to build a mutual trust, Darin exploits that trust to convince Poitier's supervisors of Darin's sanity in hopes of gaining release. Poitier, however, sees through Darin's showmanship, realizing the danger that the patient still poses.
This film marks a great opportunity to observe Bobby Darin's acting talents. While Sidney Poiter performs excellently, as we would expect, those familiar only with Darin's music should see this film to appreciate more fully the man's broad range of abilities.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Darin and Poitier show their acting chops!
Darin and Poitier show their acting chops!

I know Mr. Poitier is a great actor and have seen Mr. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Jessica L. Edwards
5.0 out of 5 stars A jewel
Sidney Poitier has always been a sterling example in every role he's ever played. Intelligent, articulate, upstanding, funny, never profane, never pornographic, never ignorant. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Janice Williams
5.0 out of 5 stars Darin and Poitier are excellent in this gem of a film
Great dialogue, and great film- it is such a surprisingly dark role for Darin to take on, considering the light nature of his music. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Inspired By Life
4.0 out of 5 stars Yes-and-no...
But mostly yes.

One of those small films I'd never heard of yet stumbled upon while scanning through TCM's playlist, `Pressure Point' is a stirring drama about a... Read more
Published 24 months ago by Andrew Ellington
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth Revisiting
I hadn't seen this film in well over 30 years but recall being quite moved by it. I thought it might be worth revisiting and I was right.

Here's the scoop. Read more
Published on February 2, 2012 by Eric Sanberg
5.0 out of 5 stars Seething Tensions on the Verge of Eruption
"Pressure Point" contains two bravura performances. One is hardly a surprise: it's given by award-winning actor and screen legend Sidney Poitier, who plays a principled prison... Read more
Published on February 1, 2012 by J. Michael Click
5.0 out of 5 stars Bobby Darin as a psychopathic Nazi!!!
I agree with another reviewer that this should be required viewing. I deals with how everyone needs unselfish love & respect & the possible outcomes when it's absent, especially... Read more
Published on January 17, 2012 by Rodrick Micmac
5.0 out of 5 stars Pressure Point
I really enjoyed this movie and would recommend it to any Bobby Darin or Sydney Poitier fan. They both did an excellent job during a time when civil rights issuex were highly... Read more
Published on April 9, 2011 by Sharon E. Mccoy
5 STARS : Crooner Bobby Darin gives a studied performance in this still relevant drama about a Nazi sympathizer. Read more
Published on June 1, 2009 by Beth A. Mcavoy
I had heard many good things about this "explosive and provocative drama", so I decided to check this film out. Read more
Published on August 29, 2008 by ! MR. KNOW IT ALL ;-b
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