Crisis (1950 film)


Theatrical release poster
Directed by Richard Brooks
Produced by Arthur Freed
Written by George Tabori (story)
Richard Brooks
Starring Cary Grant
José Ferrer
Paula Raymond
Music by Miklós Rózsa
Distributed by MGM
Release dates
  • July 7, 1950 (1950-07-07)
Running time
95 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $1,581,000[1]
Box office $1,403,000[1]

Crisis is a 1950 drama film starring Cary Grant and José Ferrer and directed by Richard Brooks (making his directorial debut). The story of an American couple who inadvertently become embroiled in a revolution, it was based on the short story "The Doubters" by George Tabori.


Dr. Eugene Ferguson (Cary Grant), a renowned American brain surgeon, and his wife Helen (Paula Raymond) are vacationing in Latin America when a revolution breaks out. They are taken against their will to the country's dictator, Raoul Farrago (José Ferrer), who urgently needs a life-saving operation.

Over the next few days, while Ferguson trains assistants for the delicate operation, he witnesses various acts of brutality by the regime, especially by Colonel Adragon (Ramón Novarro), but his Hippocratic Oath compels him to do his best.

Roland Gonzales (Gilbert Roland), the rebel leader, kidnaps Helen to pressure her husband into making a fatal surgical "mistake." His message to Ferguson is intercepted by Isabel Farrago (Signe Hasso), the patient's wife, and the operation is a success. Fortunately for the doctor, Helen is released unharmed when Farrago dies soon afterwards and his government is overthrown.



Reviews were mixed on this film. Bosley Crowther, film critic for The New York Times, wrote that "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. ... However, the task of surmounting the story completely and in full is beyond Mr. Brooks and his barely adequate supporting cast."[2] The Variety review noted, "the script [from a story by George Tabori] and direction by Richard Brooks lets it get up on the soapbox too frequently."[3] Time Out, however, had the opposite reaction to Crowther, thinking that Brooks was "adept at maintaining the tension", while of the opinion that Grant looked "as though he'd rather be holding a dry martini than a scalpel."[4]

According to MGM records the film earned $891,000 domestically and $512,000 foreign, resulting in a loss to the studio of $72,000.[1]


  1. 1 2 3 The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study.
  2. Bosley Crowther (July 4, 1950). "Crisis (1950)". The New York Times.
  3. "Review: 'Crisis'". Variety magazine. December 31, 1949. Retrieved February 14, 2015.
  4. "Crisis". Time Out magazine. Retrieved February 14, 2015.
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