Sidney Poitier appreciation: A movie star of many firsts, and the slap heard around the world

Published by
Chicago Tribune

“Don’t cry, white boy. You’re gonna live.” With those seven words, a young Bahamian American actor named Sidney Poitier concluded his film debut, in the final scene of the 1950 drama “No Way Out.” Poitier plays Dr. Brooks, the sole Black physician at a hospital whose prison ward patients include a virulent white racist played by Richard Widmark. The film’s director and co-writer Joseph L. Mankiewicz made a much bigger splash that same year with “All About Eve.” But “No Way Out” holds up: It’s pungent, tightly packed stuff. It’s also fascinating to see what happens in Poitier’s concluding line …

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