Tuesday, November 8, 2016

1950 - PANIC IN THE STREETS, Kazan starts to grow as a filmmaker

The director Elia Kazan really gets out of the studio for this story about a modern day plague that might strike the city of New Orleans.  Two hoodlums are infected with the plague and it's up to the authorities to find them in 48 hours.

The stars are Richard Widmark who is kind of over the top with his performance and Paul
Douglas who's underplaying seems a little more in tune with the film's tone.  One of the strength's Elia Kazan brought to his films was his ability to get good performances out of his cast.  I'm not sure what happened with Widmark but everyone else is very good in this film particularly Zero Mostel as a small time hood. 

The attraction of this film is really the on location filming in New Orleans.  Kazan and his cinematographer Joseph MacDonald really capture the flavor of and the era of the city in the early 1950's.  The Blu Ray makes the images really stand out.  The on location chase at the end of this film is very exciting.

Not one of Kazan's great films but Panic In The Streets is very good. 

96 minutes.

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