USA Today - 02/06/1998
"...Uncommonly provocative for its day..."
New York Times - 03/07/2006
"[A] gutsy social melodrama....[Mankiewicz] unleashes a burst of expressionist brilliance like the complex tracking shot that begins just after the one-hour mark and draws a hellish portrait of a race riot in the making."
Description by OLDIES.com:
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), this 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.
In Sidney Poitier's feature film debut, racial tensions simmer, then flare into violence when two white criminals wounded in a shootout are brought into the care of Dr. Brooks (Poitier), the only black doctor at a city hospital. When one brother suddenly dies, the surviving brother accuses Dr. Brooks of killing him and instigates slayings and racial rioting to get revenge. Provocative and nuanced, NO WAY OUT dramatizes the different threads of race relationships, from indifference to blind hatred, that are woven through American society. Starring black actors (it was also Ossie Davis's first film) and filmed at the very cusp of the civil rights movement, only 10 years after Hattie McDaniel became the first African-American actor to win an Oscar, NO WAY OUT was a leap ahead of the mainstream film industry in its head-on tackling of racial prejudice. The script, written by director Joseph L. Mankiewicz and Lesser Samuels, was nominated for an Oscar.
When a young black doctor fails to save a gangster's brother who is suffering from gunshot wounds, the bigoted honcho orchestrates a string of race riots and slayings as his means of revenge. A provocative melodrama featuring the debut film performances of Sydney Poitier and Ossie Davis, the film also stars Ruby Dee and Richard Widmark, and was directed and written by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, who along with Lesser Samuels, received an Academy Award nomination for the screenplay.