Eugene Ferguson pledged to help people when he became a doctor, but will he perform a life-saving surgery on a South American tyrant (Jose Ferrer) who's taken him captive? Yes, if Ferguson hopes to leave the troubled land. No, if he heeds the threats made by revolutionaries determined to overthrow the despot.
Cary Grant plays Ferguson, a physician navigating the unexpected terrain between a rock and a hard place in this political thriller that's the directorial debut of Richard Brooks (Elmer Gantry). The role is a change of pace for Grant, and he prepared for it with diligent study and observation of surgical procedures. The result is a portrayal rooted in reality and put across with the uncanny talent of one of film's greatest stars.
Cary Grant's utter credibility in the role of a brilliant, world-famous brain surgeon Dr. Eugene Norland Ferguson is the single element that keeps CRISIS afloat. While vacationing in a politically unstable Latin American country, Ferguson and his wife, Helen (Paula Raymond), find themselves the unwilling house guests of dictator Raoul Farrago (Josť Ferrer). Suffering from a brain tumor, Farrago insists that Ferguson operate at once. The "crisis" of the title arises when revolutionary leader Gonzales (Gilbert Roland) demands that Farrago be killed on the operating table -- and kidnaps Dr. Ferguson's wife to bind the bargain. Unaware of his wife's plight, Ferguson proceeds with the operation, setting into motion a series of events leading to a grimly ironic denouement. Director Richard Brooks adapted the screenplay of CRISIS from a story by George Tabori.
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