Panic in the Streets (1950)

Approved  |   |  Crime, Drama, Film-Noir  |  12 June 1950 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 4,743 users  
Reviews: 75 user | 56 critic

A doctor and a policeman in New Orleans have only 48 hours to locate a killer infected with pneumonic plague.



(screenplay), (adaptation), 4 more credits »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Blackie (as Walter Jack Palance)
Dan Riss ...
Neff - Newspaper Reporter
Tommy Cook ...
Vince Poldi - Younger Brother


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


THE SCREEN'S GREATEST EXCITEMENT OF THE YEAR! (original print ad - all caps) See more »


Approved | See all certifications »




| |

Release Date:

12 June 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Outbreak  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Elia Kazan:  mortuary assistant. See more »


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 »


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


Featured in Elia Kazan: A Director's Journey (1995) See more »


For You
Written by Joseph A. Burke and Al Dubin
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User Reviews

Great chase climaxes a `lost gem'
8 January 2002 | by (Indy) – See all my reviews

Refreshing `lost' gem! Featuring effective dialog combined with excellent acting to establish the characters and involve you enough to care what happens to them. The Douglas and Widmark characters are realistic heroes. Palance is his usual evil presence. Widmark win the fisticuffs fight scene, a car chase of less than 60 seconds with a `logical' end, and a lengthy chase on foot that shames the overdone chase sequences of contemporary Hollywood. You know how it will likely end, but the suspense and interest are sustained throughout. The end of the chase is one of the most realistic you will ever see. The film seems to slow a little past the middle, but stay with it for the rewarding conclusion.

13 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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A great action noir!!!!! richsass
Did you like the non-professional actors? Dire_Straits
Poldi RoyalScam
What was the allegory? MaryLouStalin
A touch underdeveloped? ashleyallinson
So they had 48 hours before disaster struck... Gluck-3
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