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Panic in the Streets (1950)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 15 September 1950 (USA)
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ON DISC
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 'Clint' Reed M.D.
Paul Douglas ... Capt. Tom Warren
Barbara Bel Geddes ... Nancy Reed
Jack Palance ... Blackie (as Walter Jack Palance)
Zero Mostel ... Raymond Fitch
Dan Riss ... Neff - Newspaper Reporter
Tommy Cook ... Vince Poldi - Younger Brother
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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:

WATCH OUT!! soon you will see the screen EXCITEMENT of the year! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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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)
See more on IMDbPro »

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
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film debut of Emile Meyer. Whilst scouting locations in New Orleans, director Elia Kazan saw Meyer working on the street with a crew of laborers. He was struck by the brawny Meyer's rugged appearance and hired him for a role in the film. See more »

Goofs

As Dr. Reed walks toward the house to thin the paint, and is informed he is wanted on the phone, he removes his gloves and tosses them to the ground. In the next cut, viewed from the house, he again removes his gloves, and tosses them on the ground. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

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

Soundtracks

No Good Man
(uncredited)
Music by Benny Carter
Lyrics by Paul Vandervoot
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Simple but Still Effective and With a Great Villain
30 December 2007 | by claudio_carvalhoSee all my reviews

In New Orleans, an illegal immigrant feels sick and leaves a poker game while winning the smalltime criminal Blackie (Walter Jack Palance). He is chased by Blackie and his men Raymond Fitch (Zero Mostel) and Poldi (Guy Thomajan), killed by Blackie and his body is dumped in the sea. During the autopsy, the family man Lieutenant Commander Dr. Clinton Reed (Richard Widmark) of the U.S. Public Health Service finds that the dead man had pneumonic plague caused by rats and he needs to find who had any type of contact with the man within forty-eight hours to avoid an epidemic. The City Mayor assigns the skeptical Captain Tom Warren (Paul Douglas) to help Dr. Clint to find the killers that are infected with the plague and inoculate them.

"Panic in the Streets" discloses a simple story, but it is still effective and with a great villain. The engaging plot has not become dated after fifty-seven years. Jack Palance performs a despicable scum in his debut, and the camera work while he tries to escape with Zero Mostel is still very impressive. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "Pânico nas Ruas" ("Panic in the Streets")

Note: On 29 May 2016, I saw this film again.


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