Panic in the Streets - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Panic in the Streets Reviews

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½ March 31, 2016
This classic film noir directed by Elia Kazan has Richard Widmark in the lead and Jack Palance making his screen debut as the heavy. The story is interesting as it concerns a plague, reminding me of the 90's film "Outbreak". The look of the film is also excellent, very atmospheric. The screenplay won an Oscar. Give it a try!
April 15, 2015
If you don't go into it already a fan of old movies Panic In The Streets might put you to sleep. I liked it. Jack Palance was the best thing about it. I wish the movie was just about his sub-plot. A movie about Jack Palance as a criminal card shark while people are dropping dead all around him from the plague. Now that's a movie I want to see.

The main story is about finding the carrier of the plague before it spreads. It's interesting because, like the title suggests, the doctor doesn't want to cause panic by talking about the plague, but it's hard to get answers about the infected because he's an illegal alien, so both sides of every interview has secrets they want to hide. Unfortunately, the rest of the movie is formulaic. If you've seen one movie about the start of a contagious disease you've seen them all. But the movie gets credit for being one of the first. Could have used a little more action, though.
½ December 6, 2014
I loved this police procedural thriller/film noir by Elia Kazan. His on-location direction was assured, the script was dynamite and Richard Widmark, Zero Mostel and Jack Palance were sensational. Highly recommended.
July 11, 2014
wow.....ummmm just seen this movie 4 the 1st time n think that this is a great movie 2 watch......its got a good cast of actors/actressess throughout this movie......i think that richard widmark (.R.I.P.), paul douglas (.R.I.P.), barbara bel geddes (.R.I.P.), jack palance (.R.I.P.), zero mostel (.R.I.P.), play good roles/parts throughout this movie......i think that the director of this drama/mystery/suspense/classics movie had done a good job of directing this movie because you never know what 2 expect throughout this movie........i think that Pat Walshe (.R.I.P.), as Himself, was good throughout this movie........its got a good soundtrack throughout this movie.......i think that this is such a cult classics movie 2 watch its got good fight scenes throughout this movie....its got good car chases throughout this movie.........i think that this is such a really suspenseful movie 2 watch its got a good cast throughout this movie i think that this is such a really well written/acted/directed movie 2 watch i think that this is such a really suspenseful movie 2 watch its such a classics movie 2 watch with a good cast throughout this movie......
March 22, 2014
This is a pretty good movie with the best part being jack palance with his intimidating hight and a face that was made for a villain. This movie reminds me of a few more recent epidemic movies (contagion, outbreak, zombie movies) they have have that element where one doctor believes the outbreak is coming and everyone around him doesn't. That and many other devices probably originated in this film. Still i wasn't that sucked into the story and the final chase scene has a particularly anti climactic ending.
williamhunt2
Super Reviewer
½ July 29, 2013
The could have done such more with this story. This script has massive plot holes and Palance is overacting. Dissapointing and for a noir thriller not very exciting. Overrated.
June 21, 2013
A classy thriller, much less laden with significance than most Kazan movies. a;l shot on location too
½ April 7, 2013
A really strong noir that deals with subject matter not often dealt with in movies. Great performances, tense 'action' and great use of location.
½ October 1, 2012
Film Noir needs city lights, and an engaging story, if not a hard hitting one.
½ August 24, 2012
My problem with the film, while although the pace was fairly good, I wan't super connected to Richard Widmark's character. I think Kazan's strengths are his strong attention to the developing character and I didn't see enough of an arc with any of the major characters. I was very surprised with the lack of focus, but I can see the building confidence that ultimately came with On the Waterfront four years later.
June 2, 2012
Great noirish thriller from Kazan that has decent thrills, outstanding performances and a realist edge that make it a cut above the average.
February 13, 2012
the amazing thing about this film to me is how "modern" it is in regard to topic matter, how modern travel can cause serious outbreaks of deadly diseases - steven soderbergh just made a slick thriller about the same topic. that said, i found the pacing and tension of this film a little too slow for my liking (and on a side note i found the lead character's neighbor really creepy...like chester the molester creepy).

if you're a fan of old thrillers you might enjoy this.
Super Reviewer
½ February 13, 2012
Not panic enough to entertain.
½ February 6, 2012
After an illegal alien is found dead, the coroner discovers a strange condition on the corpse, leading them to call in Dr. Clinton Reed, a physician from the U.S. Health Service. Reed discovers that the corpse has a form of the plague. With the help of police, Reed must track down the men responsible for the murder of this illegal, as they too may be infected which could lead to the spread of the plague. Panic In The Streets is an above average thriller which has strong performances from Jack Palance, Richard Widmark, and Zero Mostel. The film does a good job at balancing the human interest type aspects of the film with the overall fear of a spreading epidemic. Dr Clinton Reed, in particular, is a multi-dimensional characterr who is dealing with issues in his home life as well as his professional life. As a man he feels worn-down and almost beaten at times in the film trying to balance his work and family. He doesn't make much money and doesnt feel like he is good enough for his family. There is a great scene in particular between Clinton and his wife, Nancy, which provides a window into the internal struggle of Dr. Clinton Reed and how it affects his wife and child. As always, Jack Palance is great as Blackie, the leader of the gang of men who the police are tracking. Every time I see Jack Palance I am reminded of just how much of a screen presence the man has. He can just come off as down right menacing. Panic in the Streets is a rather epic thriller which still spends enough time showing emotional weight of the characters, making it a strong, if not spectacular, thriller..
½ November 20, 2011
Good classic film - the use of the locals in New Orleans added to the authenticity, and it could have Been bleak with the subject it was covering , instead it was well paced . I enjoyed it, even tho I'm not a fan of Richard Widmark.
½ September 16, 2011
A terrifying epidemic movie that will leave you wondering whether an epidemic could really be just as deadly...
September 10, 2011
Bunitinho... final rola uma tensão legal. :-)
½ February 9, 2011
An early Elia Kazan thriller with a lot going for it- including the underrated acting trio of Richard Widmark, Barbara Bel Geddes and Jack Palance. All three bring quiet human elements to the film and make it much more than a disaster movie. In fact, even Kazan seems to want to put the actual source of the panic- an imported plague- on the back burner in favor of issues such as family disruption and redemption and immigration. This clever crafting is something the thriller directors of today seem to be incapable of; this kind of subtle touch has now been lost to special effects. Gorgeous black and white noir photography only intensifies the unsettling mood of the picture.
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