The four stars of this movie are not in front of the camera. The top billing goes to Elia Kazan, the next on my list is Edna and Edward Anhalt, who both shared an Academy Award for the story, and finally to Joseph McDonald for his excellent camera work. A good story, a good director and a great cinematographer. Now who could ruin a project with such a foundation? Well, the actors with top billing in front of the camera, namely Richard Widmark and Paul Douglas. Talk about your overacting ... jeeze! I did like Jack Palance and Zero Mostel. If you know of Mostel's work, you will know that his role in "Panic In The Streets" came early in his film career. He really got a work out and as far as I could tell there was no double.
Kazan and McDonald apparently used a lot of local New Orleaners for all the street scenes. In a previously revue I noted how distracting it is, as a viewer, to see crowds watching a scene being shot. You won't see that sort of laziness in this film.
Anyway, if you like film noir once in a while, this film is worth watching.