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REVIEWS
"CRISIS"



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Character's Name: Dr. Eugene Norland Ferguson
Release Date:  July 4, 1950
Director: Richard Brooks
Studio:  Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Running Time: 95 minutes

Cast: Cary Grant (Dr. Eugene Norland Ferguson), Jose Ferrer (Raoul Farrago), Paula Raymond (Helen Ferguson), Signe Hasso (Senora Isabel Farrago), Ramon Novarro (Colonel Adragon), Gilbert Roland (Gonzales), Leon Ames (Sam Proctor), Antonio Moreno (Dr. Emilio Nierra), Teresa Celli (Rosa), Pedro de Cordoba (Father Del Puento)


Plot:
- by ZoŽ Shaw
Ferguson is a brain surgeon, and while in a Latin American country he is told to operate on the sick dictator. He is told he must kill Farrago (the dictator) on the operating table, but instead he saves his life. The dictator does die though, when the palace is stormed by revolutionists.

Review: 
- by ZoŽ Shaw
Cary Grant plays Dr. Eugene Ferguson, a famous brain surgeon. He and his wife Helen, are on vacation in a nameless Latin American country (which is on the verge of revolution) when they are kidnapped. The dictator of this country, Raoul Ferrago (played superbly by Jose Ferrer), has a "sick brain" and tells Ferguson to operate on him, as he will undoubtedly die otherwise. Ferguson agrees to do the operation but in the days leading up to it, his wife is kidnapped (again!) by the revolutionists and used to blackmail the brain surgeon into killing Ferrago on the operating table. However, Ferrago keeps this from Ferguson who goes ahead with the operation and saves Ferrago's life. It is only when Ferrago is recovering and Ferguson is released that he finds out about his wife. By this time the revolutionists have found out that Ferrago is alive and are about to storm the palace. Ferguson returns to the palace and confronts Ferrago about a message telling him about his wife that he did not receive. The palace is, by this time, under attack and the stress, excitement and sudden movement of Ferrago all lead to him hemorrhaging. Ferguson stands and watches as Ferrago dies, and he and Helen are reunited.

Although Ferrer and Grant play very well together, I do have trouble envisaging Cary as a brain surgeon.....as Ferrago says to Ferguson "You don't look like a brain surgeon to me." This is by no means one of Cary's best films, but it is powerful and enjoyable, and Cary is suave, charming and devastatingly handsome throughout. A must for fans of this side of Cary's character!

VARIETY Film Review - June 21, 1950
- by "Brog"
- submitted by Barry Martin
"Crisis" appears headed for only fair boxoffice trade, despite the Cary Grant, Jose Ferrer names and some excellent performances. A melodrama laid in a Latin country, it intrigues with the lensing of the actual locales and types, but spends too much time with its social theme to be consistent entertainment for the average ticket buyer.

Dictatorship versus the right of man to freedom is the theme, and the script and direction by Richard Brooks lets it get up on the soapbox too frequently. Wiser choice would have been to let it ride as a background while bringing out the more commercial factors of the George Tabori story. Dialog and situations are ironic and sardonic, giving a good setting to the plot. There are suspense and tension, too, but mood is grim where some lightness would have helped.

Footage kicks off with Grant, a brain surgeon, and his wife, Paula Raymond, vacationing in a revolution-ridden Latin country. Suddenly the doctor and his wife are kidnapped by the presidente's troops and taken to the besieged capital. There Grant finds the dictator-president suffering from a brain tumor and he is ordered to operate.

Meantime, revolutionaries, led by Gilbert Roland, exert pressure to have the president, Jose Ferrer, die under the knife. Preparation and rehearsal for the surgery, shown in fulsome detail, gives macabre aspect as Ferrer watches just what Grant's sure scalpel will do in practice on a dummy head. Roland's men seize Grant's wife but this knowledge is concealed from him and he goes through with a successful operation.

Irony enters when Ferrer dies anyway when he tries to put down the revolt before fully recovering, and the new dictator, Roland, is felled by a stray bullet just when his forces have won the so-called freedom for which they have been fighting.

Grant and Ferrer shape their characters with assurance. Miss Raymond enjoys lesser footage, as does Signe Hasso, as Ferrer's wife, and Teresa Celli, as one of the revolutionaries. Film is full of interesting, typical Latin types. Roland is very good. So is Ramon Novarro, the dictator's colonel, and Antonio Moreno, his doctor.

Vicente Gomez, guitar soloist, delivers some fine musical moments in playing Miklos Rozsa's score. He also does well as one of the rebels. Arthur Freed's production supervision hits a realistic level in framing the story with seeming actual locales, and there's a beautiful lensing chore by Ray June. 

NEW YORK TIMES Film Review - July 4, 1950
- by Bosley Crowther
- submitted by Barry Martin
A pretty tough spot for a doctor - and for Cary Grant, playing same - is laid out for sober contemplation in a moderately entertaining way in Metro's new melodrama, "Crisis," which came to the Capitol yesterday.  This spot, not enjoyed by the doctor, is the necessity of operating on the brain of a Latin-American tyrant by whom he is held in virtual bond and for whom he has nothing but loathing, considering the patient's tyrannies.

Produced with less generous indulgence of acting and technical skill, this obviously fantastic fiction would probably be laughed off the screen, assuming it got any further than an action-house double-bill.  For it is such a pulp-magazine story in every perceptible way - in plot, in incident, in spirit and even in the sentiments phrased - that it might better have made a fast adventure of a "quickie" hero in some fanciful wilds.

Imagine an American doctor, honeymooning in a Latin-American land, being suddenly snatched up by soldiers and hustled off to an inland capital.  Imagine him there being presented to a ruthless dictator and his wife and being told to examine the dictator to find out what's wrong inside his head.  Imagine the doctor discovering that the patient has a tumor on the brain and being ordered to perform an operation which had better be successful - or else.

Imagine these rather lurid happenings and you have the beginning of this film, which was written from a story by George Tabori and directed by Richard Brooks.  And then, if you'll imagine further that the doctor undertakes the ticklish task (after getting a gentle warning from the opposition that he had better fail), you have a thumbnail synopsis of the doctor's dilemma when he wields his knife.

With such a penny-dreadful story, it is remarkable that Mr. Brooks has been able to get any substance of even passing consequences on the screen.  But some of his film is quite amusing and the two main performances are good.  Mr. Grant makes a nice, sarcastic spokesman for the democratic ideal and the tyrant is played with loud malignance and cynicism by Josť Ferrer.  Most of the bitter exchanges between these two are intriguingly sharp, thanks quite as much to the comedy of situation as of words.  And one little scene in which the doctor lets the tyrant watch him plan his surgery on a remarkable lifelike model is the source of considerable ghoulish glee.

However, the task of surmounting the story completely and in full is beyond Mr. Brooks and his barely adequate supporting cast.  Paula Raymond is utterly feeble as the doctor's discouraged wife, Gilbert Roland is hot as a conspirator and Signe Hasso makes the tyrant's wife a moll.  All the scenes of Latin rebellion have a slick, artificial look, and, of course, there is never any question of what the doctor's resolution will be.  Metro, home of young Dr. Kildare, would never welsh on the Hippocratic oath.  The operation is successful, but the picture, we're afraid, will die.

Review: 
- by Kathy Fox
This is Cary Grant's 55th film and the only one he did co-starring Paula Raymond, directed by Richard Brooks.  This film in 1950, plus PEOPLE WILL TALK, MONKEY BUSINESS, ROOM FOR ONE MORE, and DREAM WIFE, all did poorly at the box office, which convinced Cary Grant that he was no longer a desired actor on the screen, and this is when he and Betsy packed their things and took a lengthy boat trip together.  I like CRISIS, the story of Dr. Eugene Ferguson, a famous brain surgeon, and his wife, Helen, who are vacationing in Latin America.  They are kidnapped by the government there because the dictator, Raoul Farrago, played by Jose Ferrer, has a brain tumor, and needs an immediate operation.  A rebel leader Gonzales writes a letter to Dr. Ferguson, stating that he should let the dictator die, and has Mrs. Ferguson kidnapped on her way home and held as ransom.  However, the letter is intercepted by Mrs. Farrago, who wants her husband to live.  Dr. Ferguson conducts the surgery without the knowledge that his wife has been kidnapped and Farrago survives.  A few days after the surgery, the rebel leader storms the palace, and Farrago does himself in because it is too soon after surgery and he suffers massive bleeding in the brain.  Mrs. Ferguson is let go, but Gonzales, who wants to be the next leader, takes a bullet in the end and begs for Dr. Ferguson's assistance.  This is an obscure film with Cary Grant, which has never been put on video format for public consumption.  In it, Mr. Grant is most affectionate towards his wife, which is very appealing to we great CG fans. 

Review
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