Introduction by Sydney Stern (Author)
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“[Sidney] Poitier’s entrance into motion pictures is a direct result of my seeing Pinky and exploding with rage and having a big fight with Darryl Zanuck about it,” said Mankiewicz about the origins of this corruscating film, the story of an African-American intern obliged to treat a vicious and violently racist criminal (brilliantly played by Richard Widmark) in a New York hospital. Mankiewicz tested about 18 actors before he found the young, electrically intense Poitier, whose work here catapulted him to stardom. No Way Out did indeed have a greater frankness than Pinky, Gentleman’s Agreement, or any of the other liberal films of the era that took on the subject of racism. “I wanted to shock moviegoers out of their seats,” said Mankiewicz. As a result, No Way Out was banned in Chicago (because of the fear that it might provoke “unrest and civil disorder”) and went unseen below the Mason-Dixon line.