MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 22,461 this week

Panic in the Streets (1950)

7.3
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.3/10 from 4,399 users  
Reviews: 72 user | 51 critic

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

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (adaptation), 4 more credits »
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

$0.00 with Prime Instant Video

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 41 titles
created 22 Nov 2012
 
a list of 23 titles
created 21 Jan 2013
 
a list of 25 titles
created 19 Mar 2013
 
a list of 35 titles
created 12 Apr 2013
 
a list of 44 titles
created 06 Nov 2013
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Panic in the Streets (1950)

Panic in the Streets (1950) on IMDb 7.3/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Panic in the Streets.
Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

An Arkansas hobo becomes an overnight media sensation. But as he becomes drunk with fame and power, will he ever be exposed as the fraud he has become?

Director: Elia Kazan
Stars: Andy Griffith, Patricia Neal, Anthony Franciosa
The Visitors (1972)
Crime | Thriller | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Bill, Martha and their little child Hal are spending a quiet winter Sunday in their cosy house when they get an unexpected visit from Mike Nickerson and Tony Rodriguez. Mike and Tony are ... See full summary »

Director: Elia Kazan
Stars: Patrick McVey, Patricia Joyce, James Woods
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A young Anatolian Greek, entrusted with his family's fortune, loses it en route to Istanbul and dreams of going to America,

Director: Elia Kazan
Stars: Stathis Giallelis, Frank Wolff, Elena Karam
Certificate: Passed Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

This western begins with St. Louis resident Lutie Cameron (Katharine Hepburn) marrying New Mexico cattleman Col. James B. 'Jim' Brewton (Spencer Tracy) after a short courtship. When she ... See full summary »

Director: Elia Kazan
Stars: Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, Robert Walker
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Eddie is a very rich man who has everything he wants; money, family, success, but a car crash causes him to reevaluate the life he leads. Searching for the happiness he lost, he remembers ... See full summary »

Director: Elia Kazan
Stars: Kirk Douglas, Faye Dunaway, Deborah Kerr
Baby Doll (1956)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Steamy tale of two Southern rivals and a sensuous 19-year-old virgin.

Director: Elia Kazan
Stars: Karl Malden, Carroll Baker, Eli Wallach
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A reporter pretends to be Jewish in order to cover a story on anti-Semitism, and personally discovers the true depths of bigotry and hatred.

Director: Elia Kazan
Stars: Gregory Peck, Dorothy McGuire, John Garfield
Viva Zapata! (1952)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The story of Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata, who led a rebellion against the corrupt, oppressive dictatorship of president Porfirio Diaz in the early 20th century.

Director: Elia Kazan
Stars: Marlon Brando, Jean Peters, Anthony Quinn
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Encouraged by her idealistic if luckless father, a bright and imaginative young woman comes of age in a Brooklyn tenement during the early 1900s.

Director: Elia Kazan
Stars: Dorothy McGuire, Joan Blondell, James Dunn
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A covert FBI agent infiltrates a ruthless gangster mob, but his life is at risk from a mysterious informant who funnels inside information to the hoodlums.

Director: William Keighley
Stars: Mark Stevens, Richard Widmark, Lloyd Nolan
Kiss of Death (1947)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

With his law-breaking lifestyle in the past, an ex-con, along with his family, attempt to start a new life, knowing a betrayed someone from the past is bound to see otherwise.

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: Victor Mature, Brian Donlevy, Coleen Gray
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

F.Scott Fitzgerald's novel is brought to life in this story of a movie producer slowly working himself to death.

Director: Elia Kazan
Stars: Robert De Niro, Tony Curtis, Robert Mitchum
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Capt. Tom Warren
...
Nancy Reed
...
Blackie (as Walter Jack Palance)
...
Raymond Fitch
Dan Riss ...
Neff - Newspaper Reporter
Tommy Cook ...
Vince Poldi - Younger Brother
Edit

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:

Watch out!! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

12 June 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Outbreak  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on March 5, 1951 with Richard Widmark and Paul Douglas reprising their film roles. 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

Lt. Cmdr. Clinton 'Clint' Reed M.D.: You know, my mother always told me if you looked deep enough in anybody... you'd always find some good, but I don't know.
Capt. Tom Warren: With apologies to your mother, that's the second mistake she made.
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Johnson Rag
(uncredited)
Music by Gus Hall and Henry Kleinkauf
Played as background during a nightlife scene
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Very good but maybe a bit too ambitious
15 March 2005 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

When a stiff turns up with pneumonic plague (a variant of bubonic plague), U.S. Public Health Service official Dr. Clinton Reed (Richard Widmark) immediately quarantines everyone whom he knows was near the body. Unfortunately, the stiff got that way by being murdered, and there's a good chance that the murderer will start spreading the plague, leading to an epidemic. Enter Police Captain Tom Warren (Paul Douglas), who is enlisted to track down the murderer as soon as possible and avert a possible national disaster.

While Panic in the Streets is a quality film, it suffers from being slightly unfocused and a bit too sprawling (my reason for bringing the score down to an eight). It wanders the genres from noirish gangster to medical disaster, police procedural, thriller and even romance.

This is not director Elia Kazan's best work, but saying that is a bit disingenuous. Kazan is the helmer responsible such masterpieces as A Streetcar Named Desire (1951), On The Waterfront (1954) and East of Eden (1955), after all. This film predates those, but Kazan has said that he was already "untethered" by the studio. Taking that freedom too far may partially account for the sprawl. The film is set in New Orleans, a city where Kazan "used to wander around . . . night and day so I knew it well". He wanted to exploit the environment. "It's so terrific and colorful. I wanted boats, steam engines, warehouses, jazz joints--all of New Orleans".

Kazan handles each genre of Panic in the Streets well, but they could be connected better. The film would have benefited by staying with just one or two of its moods. The sprawl in terms of setting would have still worked. Part of the dilemma may have been caused by the fact that Panic in the Streets was an attempt to merge two stories by writers Edna and Edward Anhalt, "Quarantine" and "Some Like 'Em Cold".

The gangster material, which ends up in firmly in thriller territory with an extended chase scene near the end of the film, is probably the highlight. Not surprisingly, Kazan has said that he believes the villains are "more colorful--I never had much affection for the good guys anyway. I don't like puritans". A close second is the only material that approaches the "panic" of the title--the discovery of the plague and the attempts to track down the exposed, inoculate them and contain the disease. While there is plenty of suspense during these two "moods", much of the film is also a fairly straightforward drama, with pacing more typical of that genre.

The dialogue throughout is excellent. The stylistic difference to many modern films could hardly be more pronounced. It is intelligent, delivered quickly and well enunciated by each character. Conflict isn't created by "dumb" decisions but smart moves; events and characters' actions are more like a chess game. When unusual stances are taken, such as Reed withholding the plague from the newspapers, he gives relatively lengthy justifications for his decisions, which other characters argue over.

In light of this, it's interesting that Kazan believed that "propriety, religion, ethics and the middle class are all murdering us". That idea works its way into the film through the alterations to the norm, or allowances away from it, made by the protagonists. For example, head gangster Blackie (Jack Palance in his first film role) is offered a "Get Out of Jail Free" card if he'll cooperate with combating the plague.

The technical aspects of the film are fine, if nothing exceptional, but the real reasons to watch are the performances, the intriguing scenario and the well-written dialogue.


21 of 27 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
A great action noir!!!!! richsass
Did you like the non-professional actors? Dire_Straits
Poldi RoyalScam
What was the allegory? MaryLouStalin
Watch this online AgiaFotia
A touch underdeveloped? ashleyallinson
Discuss Panic in the Streets (1950) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?