Intriguing thriller about a famous American surgeon who is kidnapped with his wife in Latin America and forced to operate on an ailing dictator.
CARY GRANT, in a typical powerful performance, plays Dr Eugene Norland Ferguson, a brain surgeon on holiday with his wife in an anonymous Latin American country, ruled by the tyrannous dictator Raoul Farrago (JOSÉ FERRER). As they attempt to leave the country the two are arrested and led to the dictator who has a tumour that needs to be quickly removed. The doctor is pressured into performing the operation, unaware that the country's anti-government, guerilla movement (that has captured the doctor's wife) threatens to kill her if the dictator survives the delicate procedure.
Called by Los Angeles' The Mirror "a bold piece of movie adventuring," the film is one of the rare non-musical pictures to be produced by MGM's Arthur Freed and marked screenwriter Richard Brooks' impressive debut as a director. This tense and intelligent drama is backed up by Cedric Gibbons' and Preston Ames' excellent art direction, along with Ray June's atmospheric monochrome cinematography that give the picture a high degree of realism. The story is compelling - a medical/ethical conflict interwoven with a political drama which provides a neat and thoughtful backdrop.
Brooks' directorial debut was a highly satisfactory one, eliciting excellent performances from the cast and creating a highly-charged atmosphere of suspense.