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Images of Blacks on Film

Monday, February 5, 1979
7:30 p.m. No Way Out
Joseph Mankiewicz (USA,1950)

“Joseph Mankiewicz’s No Way Out launched not only Sidney Poitier’s career but the cycle of problem pictures in the 1950s. Literate and sophisticated, the movie spotlighted the race riots that had broken out after World War II, at the same time presenting a sensitive portrait of the educated Negro. The plot centers on a young Negro doctor, Luther Brooks, at a large metropolitan hospital. When two white hoodlums are wounded during an attempted robbery, Brooks tends the pair. One of the men dies. The other then accuses Brooks of murder. Threafter the young doctor is embroiled in controversy, and he fights to prove his innocence...

“With its crisp and quick-witted dialogue, No Way Out to some degree captured the mood of postwar America and summed up its repressed racial hostilities.”

—Donald Bogle, “An Interpretive History of Blacks in American Films”

• Directed by Joseph Mankiewicz. Screenplay by Mankiewicz and Lester Samuels. Photographed by Milton Krasner. With Richard Widmark, Sidney Poitier, Linda Darnell, Ossie Davis. (1950, 106 mins, Print Courtesy of Films Inc.)