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Saturday Night Cinema
Panic in the Streets

There is an Elia Kazan film festival downtown at the Film Forum. I have been enjoying it enormously and wanted my readers to share in my delight. It’s not the same as seeing it on the big screen, but Kazan is Kazan. Magnificent, gripping, unmatched.

Panic In The Streets (1950)

One night in the New Orleans slums, vicious hoodlum Blackie (Jack Palance) and his friends kill an illegal immigrant who won too much in a card game. Next morning, Dr. Clint Reed (Richard Widmark-this time not seen pushing little old ladies in wheelchairs down the stairs) of the Public Health Service confirms the dead man had pneumonic plague. To prevent a catastrophic epidemic, Clint must find and inoculate the killers and their associates, with the reluctant aid of police captain Tom Warren (Paul Douglas), despite official skepticism, and in total secrecy, lest panic empty the city. Can a doctor turn detective? He has 48 hours to try. Spellbinding.

Click below to watch the film


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