A.V. Club - 03/24/2010
"In its harrowing third act, Ray invests his terrifying tale of upward mobility gone horribly awry with the sinister shadows and ominous atmosphere of German Expressionist horror films."
Unable to pay the bills as a school teacher, Ed Avery (James Mason) has a double life as a taxi dispatcher. He hides this second job from his family, as well as a far graver secret: he's suffering from a painful illness that may claim his life. In a last-ditch effort at survival, Ed begins a regimen of cortisone injections that turn him into a crazed drug addict, tearing his cookie-cutter world apart. Nicholas Ray (REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE) directs this trenchant drama about 1950s suburbia; James Mason has rarely been better--or more intense.