Panic in the Streets

Panic in the Streets

Release Date



  • Elia Kazan


  • Richard Widmark
  • Paul Douglas
  • Barbara Bel Geddes

A doctor and a policeman in New Orleans have only 48 hours to locate a killer infected with pneumonic plague.

When Dr. Clint Reed (Richard Widmark) is called in to supervise an autopsy of an unknown man, he discovers that the John Doe died of pneumonic plague. Revealing his discovery to the mayor and city officials, Reed is informed that he has 48 hours before the public will be told about a potential outbreak. Joined by Captain Tom Warren (Paul Douglas) and his wife, Nancy (Barbara Bel Geddes), Reed must race against time to find out where the unknown man came from. Elia Kazan’s 1950 noir film won an Academy Award for Best Writing, and launched the genre of outbreak movies.

Past Programs


The Hollywood-esque History of the Center for Disease Control

Center for Contemporary Arts, Santa Fe, NM


Going viral in New Orleans

Shotgun Cinema, New Orleans, LA


After antibiotics: New approaches to fighting infection

Coolidge Corner Theatre, Brookline, MA