Panic in Chicago was the third talking-picture endeavor for Robert Wiene, the director responsible for the landmark horror film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. By 1931, Wiene's best work was behind him, and he was busying himself with minor romances and crime pictures. Panic is a trifle about an American troublemaker joining forces with his German counterpart. It sounds like a comedy, but it wasn't, though critics felt it would have been a better picture if Wiene had played it for laughs. The film was based on an equally obscure novel by Robert Heymann.
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