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 <email@example.com>
After Dr. Brooks retrieves the spinal tap tray from the cabinet and heads back to the ward where Ray and John Biddle are being treated, the shadow of the boom microphone can be briefly seen on the wall upper left on the screen. See more »
I heard a rumor that this was coming out on DVD in 2006. I hope it's true because this is a fascinating film. Actually, "shocking" might be a better word.
Bigotry is the main theme and there is no beating around the bush here. The "n- word" is used at least 20 times in this film in one form or another which is shocking to hear in a classic film. Richard Widmark plays the main bigot and he is fascinating to watch. Few people in his day could play the wild-eyed fanatical villain as well as he could (see "Kiss Of Death" for the best example).
This was Sidney Poiteir's screen debut and he looks about 16 years old! He looks too young to be a doctor even if he is portrayed as someone in their first year of practice. Anyway, with Widmark and Poitier, and a fine supporting cast with some famous names, you have a very, very interesting movie that is long overdue to be made available to the public.
To the film's credit, this shows bigotry on both sides: black and white, although it concentrates more on white against black. Linda Darnell plays perhaps the most interesting role because she is the one person who switches back and forth, unable most of the time to figure out what side to take! For those who remember the Naked City TV series, it's also fun to see Harry Bellaver in here, playing Widmark's deaf-mute brother.
This movie could easily be very dated.....but it isn't.
42 of 46 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this