NO WAY OUT
1950, 20th Century Fox, 106 min, USA, Dir: Joseph L. Mankiewicz

After a man dies while under the care of new black doctor Luther Brooks (Sidney Poitier in his feature debut), the patient’s racist brother (Richard Widmark) refuses to allow an autopsy that would prove the physician’s actions were justified. As tensions in the community escalate, Dr. Brooks gets his autopsy the only way he can - by giving himself up for murder. Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee make brief appearances in this tense drama, one of the most blistering critiques of racism ever filmed.


CRY OF THE CITY
1948, 20th Century Fox, 95 min, USA, Dir: Robert Siodmak

Perhaps the best realized of director Robert Siodmak’s films noir indelibly relates the enduring theme (based on Henry Helseth’s novel The Chair for Martin Rome) of neighborhood pals who tread divergent courses. Victor Mature becomes a lawman, Richard Conte goes crooked. The two square off all across Manhattan with tragic results. Siodmak eschewed the semi-documentary style then in vogue at Fox creating instead a vivid, Expressionistic urban landscape that ideally suited this mythic mid-20th-century tale of good and evil. Co-starring Shelley Winters, Fred Clark and that Amazonian nightmare, Hope Emerson.


HEAVEN CAN WAIT
1943, 20th Century Fox, 112 min, USA, Dir: Ernst Lubitsch

No, not the one with Warren Beatty, but the glorious Technicolor fantasy in which newly deceased Don Ameche arrives in Hell and reviews his life to learn if he’s going to remain Down There or not. With Gene Tierney, Charles Coburn, Marjorie Main, Eugene Pallette (did this guy ever take a vacation?), Spring Byington and a marvelous turn by Laird Cregar as a very genial…could it be Satan!?


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