7.3/10
7,070
91 user 57 critic

Panic in the Streets (1950)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 15 September 1950 (USA)
Trailer
2:12 | Trailer
A doctor and a policeman in New Orleans have only 48 hours to locate a killer infected with pneumonic plague.

Director:

Elia Kazan

Writers:

Richard Murphy (screenplay), Daniel Fuchs (adaptation) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Richard Widmark ... Lt. Cmdr. Clinton Reed
Paul Douglas ... Capt. Tom Warren
Barbara Bel Geddes ... Nancy Reed
Jack Palance ... Blackie (as Walter Jack Palance)
Zero Mostel ... Raymond Fitch
Dan Riss ... Neff
Tommy Cook ... Vince Poldi
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Storyline

When a body is found in the New Orleans docks, it's pretty obvious that he died from gun shot wounds. The police surgeon notices that the man is also displaying other symptoms and Lt. Commander Clint Reed, a doctor with the U.S. Public Health Service, diagnoses a highly contagious disease, pneumonic plague. He tries to convince local officials to find everyone who may have been in contact with the dead man. The Mayor supports his efforts but many, including the police, are doubtful. Reed wants to avoid publicity so as not to panic the public. They have little information to go on - they don't know the dead man's identity - and Reed estimates they have 48 hours before disease begins to spread. With police Capt. Tom Warren going through the motions, Reed sets out to find the killers. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

THIS COULD HAPPEN IN YOUR CITY! (original print ad - all caps) See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Due to the high cost of shooting on location, this film failed to recover its costs, according to studio head Darryl F. Zanuck. See more »

Goofs

In an early scene when Dr. Reed (Richard Widmark) is shown painting with his son, he flicks excess paint off the brush, and then sits on the same spot where the paint would have landed, but when he gets up there's no paint on his pants. See more »

Quotes

Raymond Fitch: Oh, yeah. I went to see my mother-in-law. She was wrestling semifinals...
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Connections

Referenced in The New People: Panic in the Sand (1969) See more »

Soundtracks

Should I?
(uncredited)
Music by Nacio Herb Brown
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User Reviews

 
excellent drama
2 September 2005 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

When plague breaks out in New Orleans, it's Richard Widmark to the rescue in "Panic in the Streets," one of the lesser-celebrated films of the great Elia Kazan. Kazan keeps the pace brisk, and there are lots of marvelous touches - the scenes between Widmark and Barbara Bel Geddes, who plays his wife and the scene in the police station show family life and work life and the relationships of average citizens, which is in sharp contrast to the lives and relationships of the low-lifes, portrayed by a menacing Jack Palance, his weak yes man, Zero Mostel, Tommy Cook, and Louis Charles. There are also some interesting visuals - Palance has a couple of scenes with actors who seem to come up to his knees in height.

The acting is marvelous and the dialogue sharp if the story isn't quite up to the direction and performances. It has a few questionable aspects which will be spotted by the viewer quite easily. That aside, it's well worth viewing. Kazan was a masterful director.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Mandarin | Greek

Release Date:

15 September 1950 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Outbreak See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,400,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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