Today being “Martin Luther King Day” — a National Holiday celebrated in some states but not others (no fair guessing as to where) I think it’s time to take good long look at No Way Out
Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz from a script he co-wrote with Lesser Samuels it was released the same year as Mankiewicz’s most famous and popular film All About Eve. Not to take a jot or a tittle away from that classic high comedy, No Way Out is the better film. It made Sidney Poitier a star and he and Richard Widmark — who plays the racist robber whose life he saves — friends for life.
Throughout No Way Out Widmark spits what is now ever-so decorously referred to as “The N Word” in Poitier’s face. Poitier takes it and goes on to destroy Widmark’s character by saving his life. The film also contains a superb supporting performance by Linda Darnell as the Widmark character’s ex-sister-in-law and the most terrifying race riot ever put on film.
Calling Nigger “the N-word” is an ideal way to avoid dealing with the overwhelming facts of White Racism, whose face can be seen here
Neither of these racists would be “caught dead” saying “Nigger!” in a “general public” arena.
Neither would they be “caught dead” watching No Way Out
So here it is –
And now to sing us out, one f the few white men I respect without qualification — Randy Newman