Bigger Than Life
THE EGG: Teacher Ed Avery (James Mason) is happy husband and father who discovers he suffers from polyarteritis nodosa — an inflammation of the arteries.
THE FRYING PAN: Ed’s doctors offer him cortisone for his potentially fatal condition. Initially the drugs make him feel better than he ever has. Then he starts taking them too much, and his psyche begins to crack.
THE PSA MOMENT: Ed starts to (falsely) believe that his son, Richie, is becoming a serous problem. So, he explains to his wife, Lou (Barbara Rush), that naturally they have no other choice but to kill him – citing as precedent that time God wanted Abraham to kill his own son. Lou reminds her husband’s selective memory that God actually wound up stopping Abraham, prompting her husband to indignantly bellow: “God was wrong!” There’s religious fanaticism and then there’s Ed. Inspired and justified by religion, but so drug warped he thinks he’s better and far less of a pushover than God.