No Way Out

Not the Kevin Costner feature or the Alain Delon Mafia thriller, but a much better movie—Joseph L. Mankiewicz's hard-hitting, action-packed 1950 melodrama about a young black doctor (Sidney Poitier in his film debut) and a white gangster (Richard Widmark) who provokes a race riot after Poitier fails to save his brother's life. Made long before such a theme was fashionable in Hollywood, this benefits from Mankiewicz's flair for snappy dialogue and strong performances by the leads and secondary cast, which includes Linda Darnell, Stephen McNally, Ruby Dee, and Ossie Davis. 106 min.

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