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Panic in the Streets (1950)

Barbara Bel Geddes , Beverly C. Brown , Elia Kazan  |  NR |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)

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Panic in the Streets + Kiss of Death (Fox Film Noir) + Where the Sidewalk Ends (Fox Film Noir)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Barbara Bel Geddes, Beverly C. Brown, Tommy Cook, Paul Douglas, H. Waller Fowler Jr.
  • Directors: Elia Kazan
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Black & White, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0), English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), French (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: March 15, 2005
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0006UEVVS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #106,576 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Panic in the Streets" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Theatrical trailer

Editorial Reviews

One night in the New Orleans slums, vicious hoodlum Blackie and his friends kill an illegal immigrant who won too much in a card game. When Dr. Clint Reed confirms the dead man had pneumonic plague he must find and inoculate the killers and their associates. Can a doctor turn detective? He has 48 hours to try ...

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Anything I don't like's a smart-cracking dame." August 7, 2005
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Love him or hate him (many in Hollywood still do, hate him, that is, based on his cooperating with the HUAC - House Un-American Activities Committee back in the early 50s), Elia Kazan knew how to make damn good films, including such features as A Streetcar Named Desire (1951), On the Waterfront (1954), which won eight Academy Awards, including one for best direction and one for best actor in leading role for Marlon Brando, Splendor in the Grass (1961), and this earlier effort titled Panic in the Streets (1950), which also won an Academy Award in the best writing motion picture story category for Edward and Edna Anhalt. Starring in the film is Richard Widmark, whom I last saw in the one of the unfunniest comedies I've ever seen in National Lampoon's Movie Madness (1983), so I really relished this opportunity to put that experience in the past as I knew Widmark capable of much better things having seen Pickup on South Street (1953), which I think is one of his best films (I have yet to see them all). Also appearing is Paul Douglas (It Happens Every Spring), Barbara Bel Geddes (Vertigo), Zero Mostel (The Producers), Guy Thomajan (The Pink Panther), and Jack `Believe it...or not!' Palance (The Professionals, Torture Garden) in what appears to be his first silver screen role, credited as Walter Jack Palance.

The story, which takes place in New Orleans, or New Awlins', if you prefer, begins as a seedy poker game breaks up early due to one of the players feeling all sick like...
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An unusual but very gripping film noir! April 4, 2005
By Dave
This excellent documentary-style noir was superbly directed by the great Elia Kazan, who made great use of actual locations in New Orleans to create a very realistic and believable atmosphere. The cast is nearly flawless, with great performances from Richard Widmark (in a rare good guy role!), Paul Douglas, Barbara Bel Geddes, Zero Mostel, and Jack Palance, in his stunning film debut.

Richard Widmark plays Dr. Clint Reed, a public health doctor who must work with New Orleans Police Captain Tom Warren (played by Paul Douglas) to find the killer(s) of a man who was already dying of the deadly bubonic plague (he was carrying a virulent strain of it). They have only 48 hours to find the killers before they can escape the port area and unknowingly spread the plague throughout the country.

Jack Palance plays the ruthless killer who's on the run from the police, not knowing that he's already infected with the plague. Barbara Bel Geddes plays the patient wife of Dr. Reed (Widmark), and Zero Mostel plays the cowardly sidekick of Jack Palance. The memorable music by Alfred Newman only adds to the mood of this entertaining film noir. The dvd has a virtually perfect picture and sound quality, and includes several film noir trailers and an outstanding commentary by film noir authors/historians Alain Silver and James Ursini. Highly recommended for any film noir buff!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Dr. Clint Reed (Richard Widmark) and New Orleans Police Captain Tom Warren (Paul Douglas) frantically search for a pair of criminals involved with the murder of a card player who may have been infected with plague by the victim. Reed and Warren have 48 hours to find the criminals before they become infectious and spread plague through the population like a wildfire. Although it doesn't compare to the gorefests that pass for suspense thrillers today. Kazan's eighth film as a director is filled with long takes influenced by Welles (although far more naturalistic looking without the unusual angles that Gregg Toland used on Welles' masterpiece "Citizen Kane") creating as much suspense by letting the action play out as the quick cutting style of Hitchcock and other directors working at the time. Featuring the lovely and underrated Barbara Bel Geddes as Widmark's wife, "Panic in the Streets" continues to astound with its suspenseful direction and brutal violence. A young Jack Palance steals the film with his role as "Blackie" one of the infected criminals and Zero Mostel appears as the other criminal a year or two before Kazan ratted him out to the House of Un-American Acitivies. A believable, powerful drama that still resonates today because of Kazan's on location shooting and powerful down-to-earth performances. Writer Murphy and Kazan would frequently allow the actors to improvise some of their scenes changing dialogue around to bring a sense of spontaneity. Kazan's film, unlike many of the time, shows interdepartmental conflicts slowing down the hunt for the infected men.

"Panic in the Streets" looks good in its first presentation on DVD. There's a predictable amount of grain and dirt but, on the whole, there's nothing to panic about.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The Timeless Classics DVD is a low-quality bootleg. The picture is all messed up and looks like a VCD. It even scrolls text across the screen when you start it up telling you who is responsible for "ripping" the film. Unfortunately the Timeless Classics bootleg has all the reviews copied from the Panic in the Streets (Fox Film Noir) page, which is the version to get. Not looking quickly I just thought that the so-called "Remastered" version was a new release. Avoid this hunk of junk and make sure to get the Fox Film Noir release of this amazing movie.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A good Noir , but a terrific Blu Ray package!
This is a very good (not classic) film noir. Others have gone into much detail about the movie so let me review the item in question the Blu Ray version. Read more
Published 20 days ago by Richardson
4.0 out of 5 stars panic
very good old movie. I for got what a good actor Richard Widmark was, he cpold play good guy or a bad guy, or a cowboy.
Published 1 month ago by Lillian Cravens
4.0 out of 5 stars A great little Noir
About the only movie I can think of where the hero is part of the Public Health Service - trying desperately to find those an immigrant has come into contact with, because he is... Read more
Published 3 months ago by M. S. Burns
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT KAZAN
GREAT KAZAN FILM with a Great Cast!!! Superbly done all around and a Great old black n white to enjoy!!!! Excellent pressing on blu ray and of course.its mono!!!!
Published 4 months ago by AZRIFLEMAN
4.0 out of 5 stars Hope it's only the flu!?!
Super suspenseful and well written, directed and performance by all the main characters....Richard widmark, barbra B-G & Jack Palance give riveting performances!
Published 5 months ago by Karl Vickner
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie
An excellent noir film by Elia Kazan, featuring a really scary Jack Palance in his movie debut. The docks of New Orleans are
featured as well. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Al
4.0 out of 5 stars Never boring!
Acting, photography and direction are top notch. Story is timeless - the dedicated and underpaid government doctor, the cynical police captain who finally sees the light, and a... Read more
Published 9 months ago by movielover
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Suspense Film Noir!
This is a great suspense Film Noir kind of similar to "The Killer that Stalked New York" in a way. This movie is presented in Full frame and runs for about 96mins (1hr 36mins). Read more
Published 11 months ago by Rick Lane
4.0 out of 5 stars First of the medical disaster films
"Panic in the streets" is a 1950 medical thriller, one of the first of its kind. A man sneaks into the port of New Orleans, gets killed, and then when his body appears in the... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Dr. James Gardner
5.0 out of 5 stars OUTBREAK: 1950...
A health official (Richard Widmark) and a cop (Paul Douglas) are in a race against time, when a murder victim in the morgue tests positive for pneumonic plague. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Bindy Sue Frřnkünschtein
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