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No Way Out (Fox Film Noir)

4.4 out of 5 stars 58 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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 victim?s racist brother (Richard Widmark) seeks to destroy the doctor?s career. Although the hospital?s idealistic Chief Resident (Stephen McNally) tries to diffuse the escalating tension, the victim?s ex-wife (Linda Darnell) seems to go along with the vengeance-seeker?until she realizes she?s on the wrong side.

Special Features

  • Commentary by film noir historian Eddie Muller
  • Still gallery
  • Fox Movietone News: "Movie Star in Dual Role," "Richard Widmark Puts Imprint in Cement"
  • Trailer

Product Details

  • Actors: Richard Widmark, Linda Darnell, Stephen McNally, Sidney Poitier, Mildred Joanne Smith
  • Directors: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
  • Writers: Joseph L. Mankiewicz, Lesser Samuels, Philip Yordan
  • Producers: Darryl F. Zanuck
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Black & White, Dolby, Dubbed
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0), English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), French (Dolby Surround), Spanish (Dolby Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: March 7, 2006
  • Run Time: 106 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000CNE08S
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,327 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "No Way Out (Fox Film Noir)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
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.
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Format: DVD
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.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Any film noir starring Richard Widmark and Linda Darnell, with script and direction by Joseph Mankiewicz is sure to rate atleast 4 (out of a possible 5 ) star rating.Add the great Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee to the cast and your edging closer to a 5 star rating, and makes this film is the quiet, understated performance by Sidney Poitier, in his film debut.The three leading players Linda, Widmark (never better as a ugly racist] and Poitier come to life vividly under Mankiewiczs'expert direction.Wonderful commetary by Eddie Mueller,who is also a great fan of the of that forgotten treasure LINDA DARNELL.Great to know Fox is releasing two great noir films on June 6-2006-"I WAKE UP SCREAMING", and "HOUSE OF STRANGERS", (also directed by Mankiewiczs).Another Fox noir "BOOMERANG" will be released the same day.TO me "BOOMERANR" is not up to the same level as the other two.
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Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
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.
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Format: VHS Tape
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.
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