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Low-life criminals Ray and Johnny Biddle are wounded trying to rob a gas station. Rushed to the county hospital, they are treated by an African American resident, Dr. Luther Brooks (Sidney Poitier, in his screen debut). Ray (Richard Widmark, at his most incendiary), a virulent racist, refuses to be treated by a Black man, and accuses Dr. Brooks of murder when his brother dies. The incident touches off a firestorm that threatens to erupt into an all-out race war. In the middle is Johnny's ex-wife Edie (Linda Darnell), stuck between the ingrained racism of her poor white neighborhood and a growing awareness of the world beyond its confines. Widmark and Poitier give riveting performances, and Darnell quietly steals the show as a woman trying to escape her ignorant upbringing. The Oscar®-nominated screenplay pulls no punches in its squirm-inducing depiction of deep-rooted racism. Brace yourself for a powerful film that is as relevant today as the day it was released. (Note courtesy of Noir City.) DIR/SCR Joseph L. Mankiewicz; SCR Lesser Samuels; PROD Darryl F. Zanuck. U.S., 1950, b&w, 106 min. NOT RATED

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