THE KILLER THAT STALKED NEW YORK (also known as FRIGHTENED CITY) is a
1950 film noir starring
Evelyn Keyes . The film, shot on location and
in a semi-documentary style, is about diamond smugglers who
unknowingly start a smallpox outbreak in the
New York City
* 1 Plot * 2 Cast
* 3 Reception
* 3.1 Critical response
* 4 See also * 5 References * 6 External links
Arriving at New York City's Pennsylvania Station after a trip to Cuba , Sheila Bennet ( Evelyn Keyes ), who is smuggling $50,000 worth of diamonds into the country, realizes she's being followed by the authorities. She mails the diamonds to her husband, Matt Krane ( Charles Korvin ), instead of carrying them around, and then tries to shake the Treasury agent following her.
Feeling sick, Sheila nearly faints on the street, so a cop takes her to a local clinic. While there, she encounters a little girl and inadvertently infects her. Sheila is misdiagnosed as having a common cold, and she leaves and returns home. After the girl is admitted to the hospital, she is found to have smallpox.
Meanwhile, Matt has been cheating on Sheila with her sister, Francie
Finding a growing number of smallpox victims, city officials decide to vaccinate everyone in New York to prevent an epidemic, but quickly run out of serum. This causes a panic in the city. Tracking the victims, agents realize that the disease carrier and the diamond smuggler are one and the same. However, an increasingly sick Sheila continues to elude capture. Still unaware that she has smallpox, she returns to the doctor at the clinic to get more medicine. The doctor explains her illness and tries to talk her into turning herself in, but she shoots him in the shoulder and escapes.
Sheila eventually catches up with Matt, who tries to escape from the police, but falls from a building ledge to his death. Sheila nearly attempts to drop herself from the ledge, until the doctor tells her the little girl she met had died. Remorseful, Sheila turns herself in and, before succumbing to the disease, provides authorities with a badly needed list of those she contacted.
Evelyn Keyes as Sheila Bennet
Charles Korvin as Matt Krane
* William Bishop as Dr. Ben Wood
The New York Times
Film critic Dennis Schwartz gave the film a mixed review as well and wrote, "There's not much in the way of thrills or surprises in this minor film noir ... The action part of the melodramatic story was weakly told, while the noir characterizations of Sheila did capture the desperate feelings of the subject but it was not enough to overcome the overall inability of the story to have a heart to it. The city officials and Dr. Wood running around the city to stem the epidemic, seemed hard to fathom. The mechanical acting by everyone, except for Keyes, and the unconvincing action scenes made the film appear as the B film it was, despite the great noir camerawork of Joseph Biroc who caught how dark the city could be for someone on-the-run."
* Panic in the Streets , a 1950 film about pneumonic plague spread by criminals in New Orleans * 80,000 Suspects , a 1963 film of smallpox in Bath, England
* ^ "The Killer That Stalked New York,"
Turner Classic Movies