Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Killer That Stalked New York (1950)

Director: Earl McEvoy

Composer: Hans J. Salter

Writers: Milton Lehman, Harry Essex

Starring: Evelyn Keyes, Charles Korvin, William Bishop, Dorothy Malone, Lola Albright, Barry Kelley, Carl Benton Reid, Ludwig Donath, Art Smith, Whit Bissell, Roy Roberts, Connie Gilchrist, Dan Riss, Harry Shannon, Jim Backus, Walter Burke

More info: IMDb

Tagline: One woman brings terror to 8,000,000 people!

Plot: Police seek a diamond smuggler while doctors, unaware she's the same person, desperately comb unprotected New York for a smallpox carrier.

My rating: 7/10

Will I watch it again? Yes.

Here's a neat picture that serves as a film noir crime thriller but is not only based on a true incident but it's inspiring how we humans can do the right thing from time to time.  Read the Wikipedia article about the 1947 New York City smallpox outbreak.  It's fascinating how quickly things were set in motion to keep the disease from spreading.  5 million people were vaccinated in two weeks!!!  Astounding.  This picture does a great job at taking something most people would find uninteresting and probably flat out boring and make it into a good crime thriller by making the carrier that brings the disease a diamond smuggler.  Once the disease is discovered as well as who probably is responsible, it's the entire city, not just detectives, that are looking for Sheila (Keyes).  Her story runs alongside the smallpox story which naturally culminate with her being stopped at the end of the picture.  That's not a spoiler alert as there's no way it would have happened any other way when this picture was made.  It's a great story and it's told with such urgency that it was easy for me to get caught up in it.  I really dug it.  It's the first film I've watched from the Columbia DVD set BAD GIRLS OF FILM vol 1.  It's got 4 films and a few extras.  The only extra for this picture is the original theatrical trailer but the other film on the disc, TWO OF A KIND (1951) has a 7 minute interview with Terry Moore as well as its trailer.  So far I'm very pleased with this set.

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