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Pressure Point (1962)

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The story is told in flashback. Poitier plays the chief psychiatrist at an institution in 1962. A doctor on his staff is frustrated with his patient and wants him assigned to another doctor. Poitier then tells his story of having a similar experience 20 years earlier with a Nazi sympathizer.

In the flashback, a new prisoner arrives and is assigned to Poitier, a psychiatrist. Poitier soon discovers the prisoner was arrested for sedition by joining the Nazi party during the war and calling for overthrow of the American government. The prisoner discusses sociopathic behaviors throughout his life with the psychiatrist, each being shown as a flashback first to his childhood where he had an abusive alcoholic father and mother with dependency issues, second to his early adulthood where he leads a gang of young adults terrorizing various locations and then to recently in the prisoners life where he had joined the Nazi party. Throughout the inmates life he displays a lack of emotion for those around them and works to obtain only pleasure for himself through disruptive acts displaying the traits of Antisocial Personality Disorder.

Throughout the series of flashbacks Poitier begins to understand that the inmate is both a danger to society at large and that if he is released that he would go about using his superficial wits and charms for his own ends. Poitier risks his reputation to have the inmate contained because outside of his office the inmate has a reputation as a model prisoner. The psychiatric staff decide to release him against Poitier's recommendation, they believe him to have a personal conflict against the inmate due to his beliefs in Nazism. This ends Poitier's flashback to his doctor and we return to the present. His doctor under him asks about what happened the inmate and we learn that he later beat a man to death for no reason.


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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Pressure Point", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.