Blu-Ray Review: No Way Out

Joseph L. Mankiewicz was a true Hollywood all-rounder. As a writer he penned forty-eight screenplays during his career, winning numerous awards and accolades. He produced over twenty films, including The Philadelphia Story. When he was finally given a chance to direct by Twentieth Century Fox, he didn’t disappoint; winning Oscars for Best Director (and also Best Screenplay) for A Letter to Three Wives and All About Eve. In 1950, he was nominated for writing No Way Out, which he also helmed.

Dr Daniel Wharton (Stephen McNally) is the highly respected chief medical resident at a county hospital. He uses his influence to ensure that Dr Luther Brooks (Sidney Poitier), a young intern, becomes the first African-American doctor at the institution. After a shoot-out with the police, Ray (Richard Widmark) and his brother Johnny Biddle (Dick Paxton) are brought in to the hospital. Luther tries to save Johnny’s life, but he dies, prompting Ray to whip-up racial tensions.

No Way Out is a compelling drama which tackles race relations in America through the microscope of a doctor accused of murder. What begins in the confines of a hospital soon spills out into the town. The language is difficult to hear but it reflects the deep racial prejudices of the time. Poitier is superb, as always, personified in the way he inhabits Luther’s lack of self-confidence with his determination to do right. No Way Out is an impressive drama which encapsulates a dark period in American history.

Special Features:

  • 1080p presentation of the film on Blu-ray, with a progressive encode on the DVD
  • LPCM mono soundtrack (Uncompressed on the Blu-ray)
  • Optional English subtitles
  • Audio Commentary by film noir historian Eddie Muller
  • ALL ABOUT MANKIEWICZ [103 minutes] – A massive two-part interview with the legendary director, featuring Michael Ciment and directed by Luc Béraud
  • Archival Fox Movietone Newsreels
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • A collector’s booklet featuring a new essay by Glenn Kenny

No Way Out is released on Dual Format (DVD & Blu-ray) by Eureka Entertainment as part of their Masters of Cinema collection on 11 June.

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