When a body is found in the New Orleans docks, it's pretty obvious that he died from gun shot wounds. The police surgeon notices that the man is also displaying other symptoms and Lt. Commander Clint Reed, a doctor with the U.S. Public Health Service, diagnoses a highly contagious disease, pneumonic plague. He tries to convince local officials to find everyone who may have been in contact with the dead man. The Mayor supports his efforts but many, including the police, are doubtful. Reed wants to avoid publicity so as not to panic the public. They have little information to go on - they don't know the dead man's identity - and Reed estimates they have 48 hours before disease begins to spread. With police Capt. Tom Warren going through the motions, Reed sets out to find the killers. Written by
In an early scene when Dr. Reed (Richard Widmark) is shown painting with his son, he flicks excess paint off the brush, and then sits on the same spot where the paint would have landed, but when he gets up there's no paint on his pants. See more »
Refreshing `lost' gem! Featuring effective dialog combined with excellent acting to establish the characters and involve you enough to care what happens to them. The Douglas and Widmark characters are realistic heroes. Palance is his usual evil presence. Widmark win the fisticuffs fight scene, a car chase of less than 60 seconds with a `logical' end, and a lengthy chase on foot that shames the overdone chase sequences of contemporary Hollywood. You know how it will likely end, but the suspense and interest are sustained throughout. The end of the chase is one of the most realistic you will ever see. The film seems to slow a little past the middle, but stay with it for the rewarding conclusion.
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