Dr. Luther Brooks (Sidney Poitier), an intern in a county hospital, happens to be on duty the night two hoodlum shooting victims are brought in. Ray Biddle (Richard Widmark) is cocky and arrogant and totally detests black people. He absolutely cannot stand the thought of a black doctor's hands on him and quite loudly makes his disgust known.
After noticing that Ray's brother Johnny seems to have more than just a superficial shotgun wound, Dr. Brooks orders a spinal tap for the man. Before the spinal tap is completed, however, Johnny dies, infuriating Ray even more. He is convinced that Dr. Brooks murdered him, and nothing will deter him from that belief. Dr. Brooks begins to wonder if he was wrong, if he had made an incorrect diagnosis, but the only way to determine that is to do an autopsy. And Ray Biddle, Johnny's next of kin, won't give permission for that, especially when he knows just how much Dr. Brooks needs an autopsy.
Dr. Brooks and his chief of staff discover that Johnny had an ex-wife, Edie (Linda Darnell), and they hope she can be convinced to persuade Ray to agree to the autopsy. Ray, however, has other ideas...ideas that will lead to a violent racial explosion.
The acting in this movie is spectacular! Richard Widmark is totally amazing as the obsessed bigot. He just oozes evil and hatred. Sidney Poitier was fabulous as well. It's easy to see why he would go on to become a great star. And Linda Darnell was brilliant as well. Truly, all three leads were amazing, and their acting, coupled with the boldness of the film is why I am giving 4 stars.
No Way Out is not an easy film to watch. With the "n" word being used dozens of times, as well as the obsessive racial hatred, this is definitely not a feel-good film. But it's absolutely a worthwhile film, and I highly recommend it.