7.3/10
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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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Photos

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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:

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


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Richard Widmark, Jack Palance did his own stunt of climbing the boat rope after two stuntmen failed. 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

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 WatchMojo: Top 20 Outbreak Movies (2020) See more »

Soundtracks

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