Husband and wife Americans Dr. Eugene and Mrs. Helen Ferguson - he a renowned neurosurgeon - are traveling through Latin America for a vacation. When they make the decision to return to New...
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Husband and wife Americans Dr. Eugene and Mrs. Helen Ferguson - he a renowned neurosurgeon - are traveling through Latin America for a vacation. When they make the decision to return to New York earlier than expected, they find they are being detained by the military in the country they are in. Ultimately, they learn the reason is that President Raoul Farrago, the tyrannical military dictator of the country, has been diagnosed with a brain tumor and will die without an operation to remove it, Farrago choosing Gene as the doctor to lead the surgical team. Because of the volatile politics within the country and for his own safety as revolutionary forces would like to see him dead, Farrago refuses to go to a hospital for the operation, instead it to be done at his home. Despite not particularly liking Farrago or his ways, Gene agrees purely in his oath as a doctor. However, he ends up being caught in the middle between Farrago/his brutal regime and the revolutionaries, each side who is ... Written by
Commendable debut by a screenplay writer turned director
This is Richard Brooks' first directorial effort. Examining the work half a century after it was made, the film presents a director who knows how to get the most from his actors through the written word and the way it is spoken. Three actors sparkle: Cary Grant, Jose Ferrer, and Signe Hasso.
Compare Cary Grant's acting in the Hitchcock vehicles and in this. Grant presents a maturity in his speech patterns that do not show up under Hitchcock's direction. I think much of the quality of the performances is probably due to the director who took his first film seriously--probably a lot more than he did in his later career.
All in all, this is a curious film--quite unusual in several ways compared to the average Hollywood products in the Fifties. Is it only a question of humanism winning over all evils? Or more?
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