Panic in the Streets

Panic in the Streets

Director: Elia Kazan

Cast: Elia Kazan, Richard Widmark, Paul Douglas, Barbara Bel Geddes

     
 

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Filmed entirely on location in New Orleans, Panic in the Streets stars Richard Widmark as Dr. Clinton Reed, a physician from the U.S. Health Service who must race against time to stop a plague. The carrier was an illegal alien, murdered by criminals Jack Palance and Zero Mostel. When local officials note the strange condition of the corpse, they fear that the

Overview

Filmed entirely on location in New Orleans, Panic in the Streets stars Richard Widmark as Dr. Clinton Reed, a physician from the U.S. Health Service who must race against time to stop a plague. The carrier was an illegal alien, murdered by criminals Jack Palance and Zero Mostel. When local officials note the strange condition of the corpse, they fear that the germs will spread to epidemic proportions, and thus summon Reed to wrest control of the situation. At first facing opposition from rule-bound police captain Paul Douglas, Widmark is finally able to work hand-in-glove with Douglas in tracking down Palance and Mostel, who have themselves become plague carriers. Many of the actors in Panic in the Streets are local nonprofessionals, selected by director Elia Kazan because of their "rightness" within the framework of the story; the rest of the cast is peopled by such film veterans as Barbara Bel Geddes, Tommy Cook, Emile Meyer and H.T. Tsiang. Widmark's son is played by an uncredited Tommy Rettig, four years before he starred on the Lassie TV series. Though Elia Kazan liked to claim that much of Panic in the Streets was improvised, there was a script, adapted by Richard Murphy and Daniel Fuchs from a story by Edward Anhalt and Edna Anhalt.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
One of director Elia Kazan's favorite movies was this very dark tale about the bubonic plague invading New Orleans. Panic in the Streets featured a mesmerizing performance from Richard Widmark as the doctor called in to investigate a mysterious death who becomes entangled in a sinister plot. Shot in semi-documentary style by the masterful Kazan, the film applies top Hollywood production values to a bizarre original story for which Edward Anhalt and Edna Anhalt won a screenwriting Oscar. Kazan used many non-actors, shot the film entirely on location in New Orleans, and had many of the scenes done with improvised or partly improvised lines. The result is a gripping realism. Among the veterans in the lustrous cast are Barbara Bel Geddes, Zero Mostel, and Jack Palance. Kazan's loose style with actors was innovative for 1950, and he would continue to hone his direction of "method" acting in the next several years with such films as A Streetcar Named Desire, On the Waterfront, and East of Eden.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/26/2013
UPC:
0024543855316
Original Release:
1950
Rating:
NR
Source:
20th Century Fox
Region Code:
A
Presentation:
[Full Frame]
Sound:
[DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound]
Time:
1:36:00
Sales rank:
33,754

Special Features

Commentary by film historians Alain Silver & James Ursini; Jack Palance: From Grit To Grace; Richard Widmark: Strength Of Characters; Original theatrical trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Richard Widmark Dr. Clinton Reed
Paul Douglas Police Capt. Tom Warren
Barbara Bel Geddes Nancy Reed
Jack Palance Blackie
Zero Mostel Raymond Fitch
Dan Riss Neff
Alexis Minotis John Mefaris
Guy Thomajan Poldi
Edward Kennedy Jordan
H.T. Tsiang Cook
Lewis Charles Kochak
Ray Muller Dubin
Tommy Rettig Tommy Reed
Lenka Peterson Jeanette
Pat Walshe Pat
Paul Hostetler Dr. Geffney
Leo Zinser Sgt. Phelps
William Dean Cortelyou
Val Winter Commissioner Dan Quinn
Stanley Reyes Redfield
Emile G. Meyer Capt. Beauclyde
Tommy Cook Vince Poldi
Tiger Joe Marsh Bosun

Technical Credits
Elia Kazan Director
Edward Anhalt Original Story,Screenwriter
Edna Anhalt Original Story,Screenwriter
W.D. Flick Sound/Sound Designer
Daniel Fuchs Screenwriter
Roger Heman Sound/Sound Designer
Harmon Jones Editor
Thomas K. Little Set Decoration/Design
Joe MacDonald Cinematographer
Richard Murphy Screenwriter
Alfred Newman Score Composer
Ben Nye Makeup
Maurice Ransford Art Director
Fred J. Rode Set Decoration/Design
Fred Sersen Special Effects
Sol C. Siegel Producer
William Travilla Costumes/Costume Designer
Lyle Wheeler Art Director

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