half noir and half propaganda film, this 1950 film has the femme fatale as a jewel smuggler who is coming from cuba to nyc with some hot diamonds, and something else. that something else turns out to be smallpox and she spreads it around town which gets the health officials into a tizzy. it’s a film that works on a couple levels – there’s the obviously immoral act of her being part of a stolen diamond heist, but it also carries with it the unintended consequences of moral turpitude in the form of smallpox. it’s a metaphor for the way lawlessness spreads and corrupts a city. it’s also a good chance to preach to the audience about the importance of vaccinations, as well as the downside of illegal behavior. pretty good stuff from a b-film with no big stars to speak of.
outside of the premise and the writing the film didn’t do all that much for me. harry essex wrote it and he wrote a few other pretty good noirs so i guess he’s one to look out for.