I take so many pills everyday. I have left some people speechless at the fact that I am a student at UC Berkeley, let alone that I get up in the morning and go outside. So this film about a man who gets addicted to cortisone and turns psychotic hit close to home.
I don’t know what people see in director Nicholas Ray. I have seen several of his movies and there is nothing really special about them. The only thing I have noticed is that they are all genre pictures that deliberately try to subvert the trappings of the genre that they are all a part of. This film is no exception, it’s a Douglas Sirk style weepy that instead of making us feel sorry or involved with the characters makes us feel uneasy and sad to be around them. That’s what you get by watching James Mason doing an extra high version of his character from A Star Is Born (1954). It gets pretty dark at certain points in the story.
His performance is excellent and the film does a decent job of portraying the side effects of drug abuse. Because of it’s unusual choice of the suburban setting for drug abuse and it was made in the 1950’s, I say it’s worth a look.