Drama News and Reviews
Plague Germ Hunt Gives
Playhouse New Thriller
By Jay Carmody
“Panic in the Streets’’ is a film title full of exciting implications
and the picture which opened at the Playhouse last night before a
distinguished invited audience lives up to most of them.
It is a blend of suspense and violence built around the 48-hour
battle of the United States Public:
Health Service to forestall a j
pnumonic plague outbreak in a
large city. It is the work of that
master of melodrama, Elia Kazan,
whose direction is expert if not
invariably triumphant over the
occasional cliches of the script.
Probably with a thought to the
drama potential of bacteriological
warfare, 20th Century-Fox has
treated “Panic in the Streets” as
a significant picture. This is to
say that it has in nowise stinted
on production and has cast it
enticingly with a player group
headed by Richard Widmark, Paul
Douglas and Barbara Bel Geddes.
All this consideration has not
produced a great picture in "Panic
in the Streets” but it has resulted
In a superior melodrama or pe
culiar timeliness. It also is one
quite worthy of the invitational
premiere which ushered it into
* * * *
The plague theme, accented in
the search for a pnumonic germ
carrier in the underworld of a
teeming city, is what lifts the
Playhouse film above the conven
tional screen melodrama. Its terror
wings through Kazan’s picture
with the insistence of a police j
siren, the more impressively be-!
cause the director dares to take
the audience into his confidence
before his exciting manhunt be
New Orleans provides the murk
ily exciting backdrop for “Panic
In the Streets.” Here a smuggled
alien is killed a few* hours after
stepping ashore. When his corpse'
discloses a veritable culture of |
pnumonic bacteria, Public Health j
Officer Widmark orders the body
and all the victim’s effects burned.
With virtually every whit of
evidence thus desroyed, he takes
the case to the police department. '
Unless it can find the killers, not!
as murderers but as carriers of
the pnumonic germ, a plague j
epidemic is threatened within the 1
The pursuit of a deadly germ
which could spread across the
country in a few days is a far
more gripping quest than the
screen has been dealing with
It is lead by two dramatically
contrasting personalities. One of
these in Widmark’s intense Pub
lic Health officer; the other Doug
las's cynical police captain who
only half believes the disaster
Implications in the murder of a
The suspense of the film is con
centrated largely in the character
of the Public Health man played
by Widmark. He is the figure in
the story who knows the death
and panic potential of the situa
tion. He is a man working against
the deadliest deadline possible j
who must convey a sense of panic1
to the audience without succumb
ing to it himself.
It is a tricky acting assignment
that Widmark brings off effec
tively in spite of more than one
suggestion that he could not have
mannerisms his doctor-dectective
* * * *
Kazan’s cameras find little that
Is actually new in their excited
dash along the New Orleans
waterfront underworld. The pic
torial effects, however, are almost
invariably above the standard
studies of sleazy streets, city
morgues, tenement hiding places
for smuggled aliens and their
criminal importers. They convey
the constant feeling that pnu
monic germs at large here cannot ,
possibly be isolated in time to
prevent the inevitable plague.
So long as the film's action is
mi MRS. STABT.ER’S TICKET MART
1*22 F St. tt.W. (Brentana’a) Wash. 4. D. C.
Mtiftic A Lyrift* by GQLE PORTER
Book by SAM and BELLA SPEWACK
Reserved Orch. Seats S3.60. $3. Unreservtd
Chain $1.80. Gen. Adm. SI.20 (Tax Inel.)
2 WEEKS ONLY V.1’"*
NIGHTLY, inc. Sunday at 8:30.
“FAITH OF OUR
Foul Green's Symphonic Drama
with catt of 150 and Charls* F.
McClelland o* George Woihington
16th Sf. b Colorado Ave. N.W.
8:3C Nightly, exc. Mon.
Prices: .90 — 1.80 — 2.40
Box Office: TAylor 1875
BEAUTY AND TALENT
ROCK CREEK SESQUI
16th Cr Colorado Ave. N.W.
August 14, 1950 7:30 p.m.
Tickets, 80c and $1.50 (fox included)
Ticks.’.* on sale at
WSVDC 1827 K St. N.W.
Fairway Sporta Crntrr.
1328 G St. N.W.
Champion Sporta. 818 13th St. N.W.
Mitchel’a _3808 1 tth St. N.W.
D. C. CHAMBER OF
COMMOtCE ond WWDC
‘•PANIC IN THE STREETS." a 20th Cen
tury-Fox release, produced by Sol C. Siegel,
directed by Elia Karan, screenplay by
Richard Murphy lrom a story by Edna and
Edward Anhalt. At the Playhouse.
Clinton Reed Richard Widmark
Police Captain Warren Paul Douglas
Nanry Reed Barbara Bel Geddes
Blackie __ Walter (Jack) Palance
Fitch _ Zero Mostel
Neff _ Dan Rise
John Mefarls_Alexis Minotls
Poldl _Guy Thomajan
Vince _ Tommy Cook
Iordan _Edward Kennedy
Cook - H. T. Tsiang
Kochak _ Lewis Charles
Dubin _ Ray Muller
Tommy _ Tommy Rettig
Jeanette _ Lenka Peterson
Pat Pat Walshe
Dr Oafney _ Paul Hostetler
Kleber _ George Ehmig
Lee _John Schilleci
Ben Waldo Pitkin
Sergt. Phelps _ Leo Zinser
Dr. Mackey . __ Beverly C. Brown
Cortelyou . William A. Dean
Major Murray H. Waller Fowler, jr.
Wynant Rex Moad
Johnston Inine Vidacovich
Commissioner Quinn Val Winter
Charlie Wilson Bourg. jr.
Mrs. Fitch _ Mary Liswood
Rita Aline Stevens
Mrs Dubin _ Ruth Moore Mathews
Redfield _ Stanley J. Reyes
Violet _ Darwin Greenfield
Brauclyde_ Emile Meyer
Scott -Herman Cottman
A! A1 Theriot
Hotel Proprietor . Juan Vlllasana
Coast Guard Lieutenant Robert Dorsen
confined to this area, it runs well
above the conventional level of
excitement. It is when it lapses
into a few domestic asides and
resorts to an occasional exag
geration for an unneeded em
phasis that it falls short of
Kazan’s previous film work. At
such times, it is merely another
movie but there are not frequent
enough to vitiate its genuine
* * * *
Douglas in the second role of
the hard-boiled police captain
gives a ruggedly realistic per
formance which makes a nice
match for the hero portrait by
Widmark. More memorable than
either, however, may well be the
acting of Walter Palance, a film
newcomer whose sinister, evil face
may haunt your dreams for a
couple of nights. As the villain,
assisted by Zero Mostel as an
ably craven stooge. Valance gives
"Panic in the Streets,” a shivering
touch that is one of its best
He is the central figure in an
electrifying climax that Kazan
has brought off with his most
glittering directorial skill.
"How on Earth"
(Original Musical Comedy)
Ha Ave at District line. Silver Spring. Md.
(Jessup Blair Drive). 8:30 p.m.. 2:30.
Seats: $1.20 to $7.40. Tickets at Ward
Radio. SH. 6100 or Stablers. ST. 5088 or
MORE FUN FOR
40th BIG YEAR . NEW
THRIUS . NEW RIOES
Amph trap porting, or roto
Poof. JO ror* or Poof* HI toao*
■ fr«» admission g^m
WED.. THURS.. FRI.. AUG Y-1C-11 I
'TEIISIR | 'UFE AND IOVES I
D'AMORE" I of ROSSINI"
-N Y. THIS B .
m • • Om'O -
At the Warner
The Warner Theater will have
a Sneak Preview tonight of a new
Warner Bros, picture, the title of
which is being kept a secret. It Is
reported to be one of the year’s
bright comedies. It will be shown
in conjunction with the regular
showings of Burt Lancaster and
Virginia Mayo in “The Flame and
The Sneak preview picture will
be presented at 9:00 p.m. only.
Where and When
Current Theater Attractions
and Time of Showing
Ambassador—"The Flame and
the Arrow”; 1:15, 3:20, 5:25, 7:30
and 9:40 p.m.
Capitol—“A Lady Without Pass
port”: 10:30 a.m., 1:10, 3:35, 6:20,
9 and 11:40 p.m. Stage shows:
12:15, 2:45, 5:25, 8:05 and 10:50
Columbia—“Duchess of Idaho”;
10:30 a.m.. 12:30, 2:35, 4:35, 6:40,
! 8:45 and 10:45 p.m.
Dupont—“The Lawless”; 1:35,
3:35, 5:35, 7:40, 9:45 and 11:45
Keith’s — “Treasure Island”;
11:30 a.m., 2:05, 4:35, 7:10 and
Little — “L’Elisir D'Amore”;
j 12:35. 3:45, 7:00 and 10:20 pun.
Metropolitan — “The Story of
G. I. Joe”; 11:15 a.m., 1:15, 3:20,
5:25, 7:30 and 9:40 pun.
National — “The Gunflghter”;
11:15 a.m., 1:00, 2:50, 4:35, 6:25.
8:15 and 10:00 p.m.
Palace—“Three Little Words":
11:00 a.m., 1:10, 3:20, 5:30, 7:40
and 9:50 p.m.
Playhouse — “Panic in the
Streets”; 9:30 a.m., 11:20, 1:15,
3:20, 5:30, 7:35 and 9:45 p.m.
Plaza —“Gigi”; 11 a.m., 12:45,
2:30, 4:15, 6, 7:50, 9:35, 11:20
and 12:45 a.m.
Trans-Lux—“Kind Hearts and
Coronets”; 11:10 a.m., 1, 2,:50,
4:40, 6:30, 8:20, 10:10 and 12 p.m.
Warner—“The Flame and the
Arrow”; 11:15 a.m., 1:15, 3:20,
5:25. 7:30 and 10:30 p.m. Sneak
preview, 9:00 p.m.
FIRST TIME IN WASHINGTON!
I.egltlmate Plays “In The Round"
SHE STOOPS TO CONQUER
Gaia Opening Aug. IB. 8:30 P.M.
Tickets now on sale for all performance*
August 18 through September 3
Eves.: Except Sun.: 8:30 $1.00 (Inc. tax)
Mats.: Wed ASat.: 3:30 $1.50 line, taxi
Mall <St Phone Orders Accepted
Air-Conditioned Phone DI. 8503
JOHN COffINNf Of ANA
DEAN MARTIN JERRY LEWIS
*» 8mh WILSON h k*a
Ends Today^ "Ouchtss tf ldaht"
AIR CONDITIONED • COMFORTABLY COOL
iOMORROW i0 45^J^f^TFhPflE
fp The YEWS***4jL2JJl
£l BIG PARADE OF
V) LAUGHS AND LOVELIES! ■
Diana LYNH • Charles COBURK * *»«[ I
ft FRANK ROSS *. mftA .LA PEI* RiE::>".
/f|S«ntTTY JANE WATSON Si JERRY AUSTEN
yl V^ fj New**» F»*9»t>$ Y*e»t ■
U PIERRE*D'ANGELO A ANA « M
Ctitetvl ArtbH <rf the &*<«* Aetshetros/Ee#*** . /J
....—^ -- ,, y
Ends Today •
Hedy Lamarr-John Hodiak A Lady Without Passport"
On Stage—Kitty Kallen—Georgie Kaye—Gaudsmith Bros
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PS ★ Completely Air Conditioned ★ PHr
Winning Pair Features
'Winslow Boy' at Olney
By Horry MacArthur
Basil Rathbone and Terence
Rattlgan’s warm-hearted work,
“The Winslow Boy,” are the happy
combination the Olney Theater
has come up with to make this
week brighter in the adjacent
Maryland countryside. The two
star and play—should give you
a thoroughly enjoyable evening,
sending you away from the theater
in the better spirits you are sup
posed to carry away from the the
This is another of those straw
hat rarities, a winter-caliber pro
duction which demands no favors
and does not ask that you forgive
it little things because this, after
all, is the summer theater. Here
is a well-schooled cast going about
its business in a thoroughly cop
petent manner in an S. Syrjala
period London drawing room that
would be at home on Broadway.
This is no unbridled enthusiasm
at the end of an evening well
spent; it's a set of bare facts.
You probably don’t have to be
told that “The Winslow Boy” is
a flrst-rate dramatization of an
| actual cause celebre in Great
j Britain unless you just arrived by
j flying saucer. It is the story of
la father’s fight, first to clear the
name of his son, falsely accused
of theft and forgery, and second
to establish the right of an in
dividual man to deal with his gov
ernment on equal terms. Mr. Rat
tigan has made it humorous,
touching and exciting by turns as
Arthur Winslow takes up the
cudgels for his son, Ronnie, and
does not back down until he
has made the Admiralty and the
Crown permit right to prevail.
Mr. Rathbone plays Sir Robert
Morton, the noted barrister who
takes the case with a supercilious
air and ultimately turns out to be
a great champion of individual
rights in British law. It is not
precisely the sort of thing you
might expect of Mr. Rathbone, in
the light of some of his more
sinister cinema portraits, but he
plays Sir Robert excellently, with
a fine sense for both the comic
and the warmly appealing In the
Mr. Rathbone is supported most
ably by David Cole, as the fate
battered Winslow boy; June Day
ton as his suffragette sister, who
loses a prospective husband in the
melee; William Whitman, as the
brother who thinks Ronnie prob
ably did filch that postal order
and a lot of fuss is being raised
about nothing, and Colin Keith
Johnson, the ailing father who
sees his duty clearly and does it.
Director Herbert Brodkin, Mr.
Rattigan and you have not been
let down, either, by Pamela Simp
son, Mary McNamee, Porter Van
Zandt and Booth Colman.
Miss Dayton, incidentally. Is
making an Olney reappearance
after being a member of the resi
dent company last season and has
the largest unorganized fan club
of any young actress around these
parts. A very short exposure to
her will let you know why clearly.
All things considered, you'd
better try to see “The Winslow
Boy” this week.
- ^^A/n COMFORTABLY COOLED
. OPEN IC;I5 A.M. • HTH AT 0
The greatest ADVENTURE of them all!
Walt Disney captures *\
all its bold, lusty
flavor in this mighty
action picture alive with
FIISENTATION OF T
Robert Louis Stevenson's
jSfc- IS,',n,, ».
BOBBY DRISCOLL • ROBERT NEWTON • BASH SYDNEY
7rS AMAZING!.. .
Critics Acclaim It Batiar Than 'SEAL ISLAND"
WALT DISNEY'S new true-life adventure
I FEATURETTE with Wild-Lift Thrills In Not ire's Glorious Color!
Ij "aI7rT-z-p/us NEW Disney cartoons ___/tor
I SOMETHING YOU’LL NEVER FORGET
TWO THRILL HITS
Start tomorrow Death Battle Of
the Congo Savages
with 60 Giant
PENETRATES THE LAST OUTPOST
OF DARKEST AFRICA!
SCBI- Pigmies Fight For Survival! Recorded in Africa.
1111 hi** • • • w—"rw'-' '
Beautiful Woman Add Up to
Savages Battle Herd of
Vengeance Hunt of the
Blood-Thirsty Lion Killers!
fhe Last Generation of Ubangi's!
LAST TIMES TODAY_ I
' b» Craw FVuit n urnsm i'
STMT Of I V I ■ I IIA 1 lift 1 I I ■ lTI
G.UOE lu II (IJUIJIIM I
BURGESS MERBIIH *«“'>• lUlHEVJ^i 1 IliUI
- * 3
"SEE IT—You'll Hoy* Fun"
eUi coot^d J
Open 10:45_A.M. — 14th at H
BEN HECHT *
•rti litm. hmt t *a—t» | tni
I M <'»• ***»*» l 2fa«t
Start! ffi,MHC °Pen
*IR CONDITIONED * COMFORTABLY COOL
Ends! Today FRED ASTAIRt • RED SKELTON • VERA-ELLEN
PALACE "THREE LITTLE WORDS" Tochnioolof
Elia Kazan creates the EXCITEMENT of the year!
The brilliant director of "PINKY'' and "GENTLEMAN'S AGREEMENT", of "A STREETCAR
NAMED DESIRE" and "DEATH OF A SALESMAN” finds a new dimension of drama!
Directed by UIA KAZAN Produced by SOI C. SltOU Screen Prey by RICHARD MURPm . Ajyftj! :n t, C >’ e' f.c'i I: S r.ir: r: t
THE AIR CONDITIONED WASHINGTON
°°«N PLAYHOUSE t'od'Iy
9:15 A.M. 15th AND H STREETS » ST. 8500 TODAY
WARNING from the $8,000,000,000 gambling syndicate:
STOP MAKING THIS PICTURE...OR ELSE!”
■». • vv .
I TOMORROW I
Thanks to the au
thorities who made
it possible, you can
now see this fear
less expose of the
empire of terror and
EDMOND JOANNE otto
O’BRIEN • DRU KRUGER
hoturing Barry Kelley • Dorothy Patrick
—LAST TIMES TODAY—
“The FLUME and
Starts 11 A.M. Starts 1 P-M
SNEAK PREVIEW WARNERtochueonly 9 P.W.T0NI6HT ^
iBSANlftfEW WARNER BROS. FEATURE (Not Film Opening Tomorrow) IN ADDITION to
“THE FLAME AND THE ARROW” at 11:15 • 1:15-3:20-5 ^7:25.-, 10:30 P.M\jf J
^PREVIEWat 9:00 p m. (CpME AT 9:00 P.M. SEE BOTH FEATURES ly-^ ^
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