watched again, this time with commentary. same guys who did the commentary for call northside 777 did the commentary here and they talk about a lot of the same things. they talk about the docu-noir/docu-drama genre – its trademarks, seminal films and influences.
one of the more interesting elements of this film is that it’s a film about a potential outbreak of the plague and yet it isn’t a horror film like 28 days later – it’s a detective picture, closer to outbreak. i can’t think of many films that feature biohazards as prominently, or as well. what’s also interesting is that the film could easily be read as a “murderers are among us”/red scare type picture, but they didn’t even mention that possible interpretation in the commentary. considering it was filmed at the height of the black list and was directed by elia kazan, who named names, i find that pretty surprising.
i’ve never been a fan of kazan’s work, but this film is undeniably well-done and entertaining as well (an attribute his other “great” works lack). he uses a lot of long takes, works well with on location stuff and tells a compelling story.