The Killer That Stalked New York
Bad Girls of Film Noir Volume 1
Evelyn Keyes, Charles Korvin, William Bishop
Directed by Earl McEvoy
Originaly released 1950 B&W Fulscreen
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment 2010
The Killer That Stalked New York is one of 4 thrillers on the Bad Girls of Film Noir Volume 1 2 DVD 4 film set. This is an odd though original mystery. The other movies in this film noir collection are Two of a Kind, Bad For Each Other, and The Glass Wall. These are all B-movies, not quite noir, and they are dated but fans of the genre should enjoy this collection if found at a reasonable price.
In The Killer That Stalked New York the killer is smallpox. This is a Typhoid Mary kind of tale. The movie tries but does not really manage, or does not manage to a modern audience, to make the deadly disease carrier story particularly suspenseful. At one point, this thriller sounds like a public service commercial. This takes a lot away from enjoying it.
A lounge singer named Sheila Bennett (Evelyn Keyes) arrives in New York feeling a bit under the weather and followed by a detective. The detective loses her trace. It turns out the singer was in Cuba from which she sent illicit diamonds to her husband. She is unknowingly a smallpox carrier and infecting the people around her.
The first person she infects is a young girl. Doctor Woods figures out why the girl is sick and is put in charge of a vaccination campaign and also of finding patient zero.
The singer soon learns her husband has skipped out on her with the diamonds. Bennett tries to hold out until she finds her husband and infect him.
Look for Jim Backus (Mr. Howell on Gilligan’s Island) as a club owner.
Other titles on Bad Girls of Film Noir Volume 1 are:
Two of a Kind (1951) Brandy Kirby (Lizabeth Scott, Dead Reckoning) is on a manhunt to locate a look-a-like for a missing heir imposter in an inheritance scam.. But will Brandy’s partner (Academy Award nominee Alexander Knox, Best Actor, Wilson, 1944) cut in on Lefty’s piece of the action or will the partners double-cross each other before they get their hands on the loot?
Bad for Each Other (1953) Academy Award winner Charlton Heston (Best Actor, Ben-Hur, 1959) is a Korean War vet and surgeon whose return to his small coal-mining hometown offers him few possibilities, one of which is the intriguing socialite/divorcee Helen Curtis (Lizabeth Scott, The Racket). Helen’s charms prove to be too much to resist, drawing the young doctor into a social circle and lifestyle that raises concern from the others in his life, including his mother and pretty young nurse (Dianne Foster, The Brothers Rico).
The Glass Wall (1953) Desperate to immigrate to America, Peter Kuban (Vittorio Gassman, Bitter Rice) stows away on a ship and jumps quarantine to try to find support for his petition for a visa on human rights grounds.