Sunday, January 27, 2013

Panic in the Streets

When a murder victim's unidentified body shows signs of pneumonic plague at the New Orleans coroner's office, an Army Doctor (Richard Widmark) faces government opposition in his attempts to determine the source and inoculate all those who may have come in contact with the dead man. "Panic in the Streets" is an early noir exercise from Elia Kazan which he adeptly filmed from an Oscar winning story by the husband and wife team of Edward and Edna Anhalt. It features a fine, hard-bitten performance from Widmark, and Jack Palance and Zero Mostel (!) all but steal the show as a maniacal gangster and his bumbling lackey who came into initial contact with the carrier.