Killer That Stalked New York (1950)

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Mr. Arkadin
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Killer That Stalked New York (1950)

Post by Mr. Arkadin »

Any comments on this? A book I have says this is a remade version of Panic in the Streets (1950), but they were both made the same year. Dewey?
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vallo
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Post by vallo »

Panic was released in June of 1950 and The Killer was released in December of 1950. Kind of too soon for a remake.
The Killer that stalked New York deals with smallpox. While Panic in the Streets deals with the bubonic plague.

Kind of strange that the book would state that is was a remake.

As they say "Buy the Premise,Buy the flick"

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Last edited by vallo on September 20th, 2007, 12:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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nightwalker
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Post by nightwalker »

In addition to Vallo's comments (that the films merely have similar premises), I would add that they were produced at different studios,
PITS at Fox and TKTSNY at Columbia, making it even more unlikely that TKTSNY is a remake. "Rip-off" might be a more appropriate term, although, even if that's true, it doesn't prevent it from being a good little "B" noir.
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Dewey1960
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Post by Dewey1960 »

Over the years I've often confused the details of these two films with one another. But I think their parallel existence is coincidental, not intentional.
jdb1

Post by jdb1 »

I watched a bit of it last night, but I had seen the entire movie the last time it was shown. I found it a bit tedious -- not nearly as tense and exciting as Panic in the Streets. The major selling points for me were seeing the streets of the NYC of my very early youth (when this movie was made I was still an infant, but the streets I remember looked like they did in this movie), and good ol' Whit Bissell.

I have to comment that I think Charles Korvin had one of the ugliest faces I've ever seen in movies, and I eventually turned the movie off because I couldn't bear looking at him any longer. I know in some quarters a face like that would be considered handsome, but not in my quarter.
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ken123
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Post by ken123 »

Does anyone remember Charles Korvin as the Latin dancer " Carlos " in an episode of " The Honeymooners " ? Ralph & Norton becaome very jealous, as did the other male tenants of the Bensonhurst Apt. Bldg. :wink:
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moira finnie
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Post by moira finnie »

ken wrote: Does anyone remember Charles Korvin as the Latin dancer " Carlos " in an episode of " The Honeymooners " ? Ralph & Norton becaome very jealous, as did the other male tenants of the Bensonhurst Apt. Bldg. Wink
Now I do!! I'd forgotten, Ken. Thanks, I'm laughing thinking of it.
Jdb1 wrote: I have to comment that I think Charles Korvin had one of the ugliest faces I've ever seen in movies, and I eventually turned the movie off because I couldn't bear looking at him any longer. I know in some quarters a face like that would be considered handsome, but not in my quarter
.
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I wouldn't call Korvin handsome either, but arresting looking, perhaps?

Actually, Killer's bushel basket full of character actors is one of the main pleasures of watching this low budget police procedural. Some of them even moved up from the small parts, eventually.

I love spotting guys like Charles Korvin, (one more victim of the black list, btw), who could convey a corrupt sophistication beautifully. My attitude toward him is softened by a first memory of him on film as the understanding but morally pragmatic captain who is the sounding board for Oskar Werner in Ship of Fools (1965).

It was a kick to see a very young Lola Albright, the divinely earthy & malicious Connie Gilchrist as the landlady, Whit Bissell as the sniveling failure who's a desk clerk in a flophouse & whose self-righteous attitude isn't doing any of his siblings any good, Jim Backus as a "handy" & rather sweaty nightclub manager, a very young & skinny Richard Egan as a fed, & Dorothy Malone before she found the peroxide and big attitude.

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One cast member, Art Smith, (above) as Moss, the jeweler who's also a fence with a conscience is usually a welcome sight in films of this period. Smith, (one more guy whose career was truncated by McCarthyism), is one of those actors who is so grounded in reality that you accept his presence imperceptibly in several movies, and I can't think of any in which he gives a lackadaisical performance. Smith's work as the long-suffering agent of Bogart in In a Lonely Place, the pursuer in Ride the Pink Horse, and a Norwegian resistance fighter in Edge of Darkness are only a few of the outstanding examples of the dogged authenticity that he brings to parts large, small, and too often drastically underwritten.

This may get me dropped from the Actor's Studio Christmas Party list in December, but I actually prefer the relatively unknown Earl McEvoy's The Killer That Stalked New York over Elia Kazan's Panic in the Streets (despite the fact that the two and only Paul Douglas & Zero Mostel are in that cast).

Why? It's alot more fun.

As Judith points out, there are second unit location shots of NYC when the El still darkened seedy Third Avenue, there are glimpses of the harbor, Washington Square, Wall Street, Grand Central and even an old cemetery in lustrous b&w. Sure, other filmmakers caught NY unawares earlier on screen (The Lost Weekend & The Sleeping City, for instance), but I love that "lost world" period in the life of the city, even if I wasn't even born then. Maybe I'd feel the same way about New Orleans sights in Kazan's film if I felt a similar connection to the ruined beauty of the Crescent City.

Lastly, the societal structure shown in the film, complete with caring, overworked docs & nurses, earnest public officials and can-do mayors, who worked tirelessly to help the sometimes dim, distrustful public beat an epidemic of smallpox, was quite a reassuring sight. I'd like to believe it's true. I really hope that we never have to put it to the test in actuality.
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Post by sugarpuss »

I just got around to watching this the other night (it was fairly short and I was tired - a perfect match). I actually enjoyed it. It was a decent way to spend 80 minutes, although during movies like this, my mother and I tend to amuse ourselves by screaming things at the television. Like when Evelyn Keyes used the water fountain or held the sick little girl in her arms, I screamed in horror: "Nooooooo!" It just seemed like the kind of response this movie warranted. I wonder if people did that in the theater as well?

I loved how she never showed any of the signs of smallpox until the end (What WAS in the medicine bottle?), but everyone she came into contact with was dropping left and right.

The only thing that bugged me was how they kept repeating she was 5'4", but when they showed the police report being typed out, it said 5'2". Little things like that drive me nuts, probably because I've spent my whole life arguing over my own height (when you're 5'3 and a 1/2, that half inch is very important!)

It was also interesting to see Dorothy Malone as a sweet, dark haired nurse. Didn't recognize her at first! I'm used to seeing her as a spitfire or dancing in her bedroom while her father dies on the stairs.
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moira finnie
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Post by moira finnie »

I loved how she never showed any of the signs of smallpox until the end (What WAS in the medicine bottle?), but everyone she came into contact with was dropping left and right. ~Sugarpuss
Loved your comments, Sugarpuss.
Like you, I kept talking to the screen as I watched this one. I think that Evelyn Keyes was sort of a "Smallpox Sheila" who gave everyone a nice, rabid dose of the killer disease, while, until the scene where she confronts her erring hubby, (Charles Korvin), she just looks as though she might have had one too many bad margaritas while in Cuba.
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sugarpuss
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Post by sugarpuss »

Thanks, Moria! And that poster is great. Towering over the city like that, she looks like she's ready to go on a smallpox spreading rampage!

Evelyn Keyes at her worst looked better than I do when I'm feeling great. Her hair was always perfect and sure, she looked a bit pale at times, but there was nothing a little blush couldn't fix.

When I was a kid, I used to read my aunt's store bought medical journals all the time (I don't know why my parents let me read them--they made me into an eight year old hypochondriac who knew way too much about the human anatomy) and I remember seeing a picture of someone with full blown smallpox. 20 years later and I'm still scarred for life. I'm so thankful the makeup artists went for the Hollywood version of it, and not the honest truth. The worst they showed was the cop with the scars on his face.
"Some of the best parts of life are frivolous." - Arthur Kennedy in A Summer Place
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