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Only Way Out Is Dead (1970)

The Man Who Wanted to Live Forever (original title)
Not Rated | | Thriller | TV Movie 15 December 1970
A famous heart surgeon finds out that a medical research foundation is being used for shady, and illegal, purposes.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Dr. McCarter Purvis
Dr. Enid Bingham
T.M. Trask
Tom Harvey ...
Robert Goodier ...
Dr. Wilfrid Morton
Ron Hartmann ...
Dr. John Emmett
Jack Creley ...
Dr. George Simmons
Allen Doremus ...
Dr. Carl Bryant
Kenneth James ...
Joseph Shaw ...
Dr. Franz Heinemann
Clem Hambourg ...
Harvey Fisher ...
Copter Pilot
Robert Warner ...
Guard #1
James Forrest ...
Guard #2
Guard #3


A famous heart surgeon finds out that a medical research foundation is being used for shady, and illegal, purposes.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Not Rated | See all certifications »





Release Date:

15 December 1970 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Heart Farm  »

Box Office


CAD 512,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

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User Reviews

A Sinister Philanthropist?
11 June 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This television movie appeared in 1970, and fits an odd series of film roles that were part of the career of Burl Ives. Usually thought of as playing southern or western types, frequently Ives played characters who were millionaires or large land owners. "Big Daddy" in CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF owns 10,000 acres of the richest acres of land East of the Nile. Henessey in THE BIG COUNTRY is the large land owner of a ranch that confronts a large one owned by a rival played by Charles Bickford over water rights. The tycoon he played in THE POWER AND THE PRIZE enjoyed the fun of the successful deal and kill in business as much as the monetary results. On television he was the world's richest man in O. K. CRACKERBY. But his performance as T. M. Trask was unique. Although Henessey is mortally at war with his enemy in THE BIG COUNTRY, and the tycoon in THE POWER AND THE PRIZE is not a man to trifle with (as Robert Taylor finds out), neither is the worst type of man. Trask is.

Trask has set up a medical clinic "for research to benefit mankind" in the Canadian Rockies. Two new physicians on the staff, Dr. McCarter Purvis (Stuart Whitman) and Dr. Enid Bingham (Sandy Dennis) discover that Mr. Trask, who lives in the clinic, seems to have an extraordinary agenda outside any benefits to the great public. They find that the clinic keeps special records of those people who happen to share biological similarities to Trask. They also notice that Trask is incredibly fit for a man of his age - some of his organs and body functions are those of a person decades younger than he is supposed to be. And some of the patients who were reasonably healthy seem to suddenly disappear - as though they have died without "warning". Can Trask have something to do with this? And why is it nearly impossible for the staff members to leave the clinic? It was a surprisingly ghoulish story for Ives, but he showed that quiet threatening aspect to his screen persona that few of his roles really developed. Here they blossomed, and he gave a rather memorable performance. Whitman and Dennis, as the team who confront and escape from his clutches were good too, ending the film with an exciting chase on skis. It was an above average television movie.

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