Panic In The Streets Review

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A doctor and a policeman in New Orleans have only 48 hours to locate a killer infected with bubonic plague.


Derived from Edward and Edna Anhalt's stories, Quarantine and Some Like 'Em Cold, this is a laudable attempt by a theatre director to experiment with the mechanics of cinema.

Consequently, Elia Kazan makes atmospheric, pseudo-documentary use of his New Orleans locations and draws naturalistic performances from a fine ensemble. But this is also a compelling race-against-time thriller, in which noirish, xenophobic paranoia underlies doctor Richard Widmark and cop Paul Douglas' pursuit of petty hoods Jack Palance and Zero Mostel, who are unaware they have murdered a plague victim.

An underrated cracker.