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Panic In The Streets Blu-ray Review

Panic In The Streets Blu-ray

“Panic In The Streets” is a forgotten classic.

After the body of a murdered immigrant man is discovered on a New Orleans dock, it soon becomes apparent that there is something peculiar about this man’s corpse. It turns out that the man was carrying an alleged contagious pneumonic plague (at least according to Doctor Reed). Fearing an outbreak, Reed is teamed up with the skeptical Police Captain Tom Warren to find clues and hopefully discover the killer in order to stop the plague from spreading. Unfortunately, there are no clear leads on the deceased man and Reed and Warren find that the common people are either liars or untrustworthy. Granted, no one knows anything about the plague (including the man’s coldblooded gangster murderer) as news of a plague would cause panic and chaos throughout the city. Still, time is of the essence as they only have 48 hours before the disease begins to spread.

When it comes to the work of director Elia Kazan, “On The Waterfront” and “A Streetcar Named Desire” tend to receive all the attention and acclaim. For some reason or another, the underrated 1950 noir classic “Panic In The Streets” always seems to be overlooked. It’s a real shame too as this is one of his finest works. There’s just so much to admire here with the intense race against time plot, an intimidating and creepy Jack Palance character, Robert Widmark’s gruff Doctor Reed character, the well scripted character moments between Reed and his wife, the gripping end chase scene, the New Orleans locals, and the rich script that delves into topics such as the media, truth, lies, crime, trust, family, and disease.  


The film, which is presented in 1.33:1 1080p, has never looked better as the crisp B&W transfer is completely dirt and scratch free. Classic film buffs will be absolutely stunned by this print (as they should be).

The DTS-HD MA Mono track is surprisingly lively for a Mono track. The jazzy score in particular really stands out here.


* Theatrical trailer for “Panic In The Streets.”

* “Jack Palance: From Grit To Grace”- A 44 minute retrospective on the life and career of the great late Jack Palance.

* “Richard Widmark: Strength Of Characters”- Same description as the above featurette only this one is dedicated to the underrated Richard Widmark.

* A rather dry and monotone commentary by film historians Alan Silver and James Ursini. Discussions range from Elia Kazan to the characters.

July 19, 2013 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , ,


  1. Hi. Which would you consider to be the top 10 film noirs of all time? I’d like to watch them all.

    Comment by Shimky | July 23, 2013 | Reply

  2. Top 10 in no order: 1. Sunset Blvd 2. The Third Man 3. Panic In The Streets 4. Double Indemnity 5. Notorious 6. Touch of Evil 7. Laura 8. Key Largo 9. Niagra 10. Strangers On A Train

    Comment by nicklyons1 | July 23, 2013 | Reply

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