Panic in the Streets (1950)

Kazan always had a knack for discovering new talent. Here Jack Palance is the newcomer and he really does dominate a lot of the proceedings with brute force. He’s full of street-level machismo and his gigantic, unusual face makes for great on-screen subject matter. Elsewhere Richard Widmark is terrific and the feet-on-concrete procedural pace feels like a forebearer of Soderbergh’s Contagion. The odd domestic subplot slows things down here and there, infamously in the third act where the entire film comes to a halt for a husband and wife monologue. Otherwise this is a punchy thriller full of docu-real immediacy.

Watched on blu-ray.

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