Adapted from a New Yorker article. James Mason stars as Ed Avery, a small-town, '50s schoolteacher working two jobs and suffering debilitating illness who finds a cure - a new experimental wonder drug that seems to take away his pain and appears to free him from the constraints that have held him back. But it also tips him over the edge, turning him from a meek, accommodating figure into a monster of excess and will. Walter Matthau co-stars as the family friend who averts tragedy by saving Avery from himself.
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