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


Earl McEvoy


Harry Essex (written for the screen by), Milton Lehman (based upon a Cosmopolitan Magazine article by)





Complete credited cast:
Evelyn Keyes ... Sheila Bennet
Charles Korvin ... Matt Krane
William Bishop ... Dr. Ben Wood
Dorothy Malone ... Alice Lorie
Lola Albright ... Francie Bennet
Barry Kelley ... Treasury Agent Johnson
Carl Benton Reid ... Health Commissioner Ellis
Ludwig Donath ... Dr. Cooper
Art Smith ... Anthony Moss
Whit Bissell ... Sid Bennet
Roy Roberts ... Mayor of New York
Connie Gilchrist ... Belle - the Landlady
Dan Riss ... Skrip
Harry Shannon ... Police Officer Houlihan


Sheila Bennet returns to New York from Cuba carrying $40,000 worth of smuggled diamonds - and smallpox, which could start a devastating epidemic in the unprotected city. Treasury agent Johnson loses her but keeps doggedly on the trail, while Public Health Doctor Wood searches in vain for the unknown person spreading the deadly disease far and wide. Meanwhile, the increasingly ill Sheila is concerned only with her faithless husband Matt, who plans to abscond with the diamonds. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

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Did You Know?


The five cent phone call that Sheila made in 1947 would equal about sixty cents in 2020 dollars.

UPDATE: Since 2015, that phone call would be FREE. Approved in 2014, the LinkNYC system replaced payphones with stations including integrated WiFi, charging stations, free voice-, and video-calling, integrated maps for city services and directions. It also includes 9-1-1 service, and the ability to make international calls via credit card. See more »


When Sheila is convinced to go to the clinic, the nurse offers her a glass of water. That would not be done if her temperature had to be taken. It would possibly give a false reading. Plus, any good nurse would have spotted her as "sick" the moment she laid eyes on Sheila. See more »


Mayor: All right then, we're ready.
Health Commissioner Ellis: Not quite.
Mayor: How much?
Health Commissioner Ellis: We'll need half a million dollars to get underway. Vaccinations are free.
Mayor: At six cents a life, that's a buy. You'll start with me.
See more »


References Big City (1948) See more »

User Reviews

Typhoid Evelyn Carries The Pox
2 January 2009 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

In this crackerjack noir thriller from Columbia which is a combination of Panic In The Streets and The Naked City, Evelyn Keyes is unknowingly The Killer That Stalked New York. Evelyn who smuggled some stolen jewels into the country from Cuba also smuggled in smallpox. It gets misdiagnosed by doctor William Bishop and when they do find out what it is the hunt is on for her.

For most of the film the Treasury Department is also hunting Keyes, but for the smuggled jewels. It's not until nearly the end of the film that the health department and law enforcement realize they're looking for the same woman.

Evelyn's on a mission also. Her husband Charles Korvin has left her flat, the unkindest cut of all being that he was fooling around with her sister while she was in Cuba collecting the gems and contracting smallpox. When Lola Albright as her sister commits suicide over the whole affair, Evelyn's on a mission, get Korvin or die trying. And that's not an idle threat given the situation.

The film was mostly shot in New York like The Naked City and its cast is sprinkled liberally with a lot of familiar names and faces. Keep an eye out for good performances by Connie Gilchrist as Evelyn's unsympathetic landlady, Jim Backus as a shifty club owner, and Art Smith as Korvin's fence.

A real sleeper in the noir category, don't miss it if broadcast.

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Release Date:

1 December 1950 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Frightened City See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(Encore-Mystery Library Print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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