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 the scene where Palance hits Widmark on the head with a gun, the actors rehearsed it with a rubber gun, but when the cameras rolled, Palance substituted a real gun. Widmark, who wasn't expecting it was out for twenty minutes. According to Widmark "Why did he switch? Who knows?" In a 1986 interview Widmark also recalled how Palance got into the mood of his character by beating on flunky Zero Mostel off-screen. A black and blue Mostel had to go to the hospital after his first week on the movie. "They had to soak him in epsom pads." See more »
As Dr. Reed walks toward the house to thin the paint, and is informed he is wanted on the phone, he removes his gloves and tosses them to the ground. In the next cut, viewed from the house, he again removes his gloves, and tosses them on the ground. 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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