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Petty crook Skip McCoy (Richard Widmark) has his eyes fixed on the big score, but when he picks the purse of unsuspecting Candy (Jean Peters) he finds a haul bigger than he could imagine: a strip of microfilm bearing confidential U.S. secrets. Tailed by both Feds and the unwitting couriers Communist puppeteers, Skip and Candy find themselves in a precarious gambit that pits greed against redemption, Right versus Red, and the passion against self preservation. A dazzling cast, hardboiled repartee and director Samuel Fullers signature raw energy combine to create a true film noir classic.
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES:
- Hour long documentary on Fuller
- Stills gallery of photos, posters, lobby cards and original paintings
- Trailers for this and other Fuller features
Director Sam Fuller's biggest success of its time (and, superficially at least, his most conventional film) is the l953 noir effort Pickup on South Street. Candy (Jean Peters) has her purse picked on the subway by small-time thief and ex-con Skip (Richard Widmark), neither of them realizing that the purse contains microfilm bound for Communist spies and that they are being watched the whole time by Federal agents. The New York police and the Feds catch up with Skip and try to cajole him into turning over the microfilm, but as he's one of Fuller's "outsider" antihero protagonists, the patriotic angle cuts no ice with him. He plays both sides against the middle when he finds out that the Communists are involved, hoping to make a big score off the deal, but eventually he comes around when he realizes that he's smitten with Candy. Finally Skip plays ball with the authorities, but is it out of his love for both his friend Moe and Candy, or is he swayed by the patriotic urgings of the FBI, or does it just come from some inner core of decency? You decide. When Skip is asked, "Do you know what treason is?" he smirks, "Who cares?"; when the Feds try to appeal to his patriotism, he sneers through several layers of Sinatra cool, "Are you waving the flag at me?" Pickup is set almost entirely in the garbage-strewn alleys, grimy subways, seedy waterfront dives, and gloomy streets of New York City; it's marked by extremely lengthy takes and fluid, mobile camera work. The closing scene when Skip tracks down another character in the subway and administers a brutal beating to him is one of the more violent scenes you'll find in '50s film noir. --Jerry Renshaw --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Superb acting by Widmark and Peters, Thelma Ritter great as usual. Good plot even if a wee bit dated, Remember this is a 1953 film portraying society 60 years ago.Published on Sept. 17 2013 by Claude G.
Crierien rips you right out of your money...I couldn't be surprised if the owner of the company was right now sitting on a throne and enjoying his/her cash he or she has made out... Read morePublished on Nov. 11 2006 by Joanna
Made during the height of the cold war hysteria,
this film gets sidetracked by mindless red baiting. Read more
Skip Mc Coy (Richard Widmark) is a person without colective importance; a rough pickpocket , a scroungy pretty gangster who sneeks a look into a woman's handbag, turns up some... Read morePublished on May 16 2004 by Hiram Gòmez Pardo Venezuela
Excellent old time detective thriller. You never have a doubt as to what's going to happen, but getting to go along for the ride, makes it worth all the while. Read morePublished on April 24 2004
Why does Amazon or Criterion show this 1953 old mainstream film noir movie as having an NC-17 rating, "Not for Sale to Anyone Under 18"??? Read morePublished on April 11 2004