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Panic in the Streets (1950)

Barbara Bel Geddes , Tommy Cook , Elia Kazan  |  NR |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)

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Panic in the Streets + The Street with No Name + Where the Sidewalk Ends (Fox Film Noir)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Barbara Bel Geddes, Tommy Cook, Paul Douglas, Zero Mostel, Jack Palance
  • 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 (65 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0006UEVVS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #84,714 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
40 of 42 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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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best late-40's noir's, bar none March 20, 2005
Format:DVD
I remember catching this movie on TV about 15 years ago, and I immediately fell in love with it, despite the fact that I wasn't particularly crazy about any of the stars, or even 'film noir'.

This amazing gritty documentary-style film just jells perfectly; the setup of the plague, Richard Widmark and Paul Douglas' dilemma, the sleazy New Orleans waterfront dives and characters.

Director Elia Kazan used real locations and often real local people; some of the cops were New Orleans cops, etc.

I'm so glad that this has finally been released....and hopefully most of you will discover one of the most distinctive films of the late 1940's...right up with there with "White Heat".

And....to top it off, the opening theme music by Alfred Newman is, in my mind, one of the amazingly spirited and exiting themes in the history of motion pictures.....
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
OK, good movie, nice script, excellent directing and outstanding acting. What more could you want? Well, in the case of "Panic in the Streets", a little more respect for the audience. Let's see, the point is to find everyone who came into contact with a man with the plague who just died. A vast manhunt goes out etc. etc. etc. All well done and you'll enjoy the developing suspense. However, remember how an epidemic spreads. Was it really enough just to locate the several men in question? What about Blackie's girlfriend, Zero's wife, Poldi's cousin, etc, etc, etc. Once again, I deminish a good movie by taking it too seriously. Oh well, if you don't make the same mistake, "Panic in the Streets" will be more enjoyable.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Not bad B & W crime noir. Kazan was one of the better film directors.
Published 1 month ago by Kirk Alex
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent
Published 1 month ago by Malachy Thompson
5.0 out of 5 stars A good film.
This film should be included in a collection of Elia Kazan's movies. The fears and doubts of human beings forced into experiencing conditions beyond the norm are captured by the... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Roger Lloyd
5.0 out of 5 stars great movie!
Great movie.
Published 2 months ago by David Kennedy
5.0 out of 5 stars Gritty look at 50's New Orleans
I enjoy films that deal with human struggle and this film was excellent because of it's portrayal of working class New Orleans.
Published 3 months ago by redbeagle100
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 5 months 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 6 months 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 8 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 9 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 10 months ago by Karl Vickner
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