The Biddle brothers, shot while robbing a gas station, are taken to the prison ward of the County Hospital; Ray Biddle, a rabid racist, wants no treatment from black resident Dr. Luther Brooks. When brother John dies while Luther tries to save him, Ray is certain it's murder and becomes obsessed with vengeance. But there are black racists around too, and the situation slides rapidly toward violence. Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In the original version of the story Luther was hideously slaughtered, but Darryl F. Zanuck changed his mind because he believed that ending would leave the audience with a "feeling of utter futility." See more »
After Dr. Brooks retrieves the spinal tap tray from the cabinet and heads back to the ward where Ray and George Biddle are being treated, the shadow of the boom microphone can be briefly seen on the wall upper left on the screen. See more »
This movie, even today, stands out as one of the best, and most honest of Hollywood films dealing racism and prejudice. Good friends Poitier and Widmark are anything but as they play, respectively, a hospital intern and a racist hoodlum. The scenes between them are can be hard to watch because of the raw, uncensored for the time slurs spouted by Widmark at Poitier. Widmark is not redeemed at the end, nor is the subject of racism mollycoddled. It is a tribute to this film that its' existence bear witness to the fact that Hollywood has long been capable of portraying some of life's most unpleasant realities. This film is a bright spot on the resumes of all involved, particularly Poitier, who plays someone who is human more than noble, and Widmark, who puts a realistic face on raw, naked bigotry.
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