Pickup on South Street

1953

Action / Crime / Film-Noir / Thriller

6
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 90%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 90%
IMDb Rating 7.8 10 10550

Synopsis


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Director

Cast

Richard Widmark as Skip McCoy
Jean Peters as Candy
Thelma Ritter as Moe Williams
Milburn Stone as Detective Winoki
1080p.BLU
1.23 GB
1920*1080
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 20 min
P/S 2 / 12

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by JohnHowardReid 8 / 10

Powerful!

Richard Widmark (Skip), Jean Peters (Candy), Thelma Ritter (Moe), Murvyn Vye (Captain Tiger), Richard Kiley (Joey), Willis Bouchey (Zara), Milburn Stone (Winoki), George E. Stone (police clerk), George Eldredge (Fenton), Henry Slate (MacGregor).

Director/screenplay: SAM FULLER Story: Dwight Taylor. Photography: Joe MacDonald. Film editor: Nick De Maggio. Art directors: Lyle Wheeler, George Patrick. Costumes: Travilla. Producer: Jules Schermer.

Copyright 27 May 1953 by 20th Century-Fox. New York opening at the Roxy: 17 June. U.K. release: 10 August. Australian release: 20 August, 1953. 80 minutes.

COMMENT: Writer-director Sam Fuller's dialogue crackles and he makes most effective use of his natural locations. Despite its dated theme, the plot remains fully engrossing.

All the same, the picture's chief claim on our attention lies in the stand-out performances of its stars: Peters, perfect as the tough- girl innocent; Widmark in a made-to-order role as the mocking thief; and Thelma Ritter as the stoolie everyone remembers. (Available on a Criterion DVD: 10/10).

Reviewed by Hullumaja Puffet 8 / 10

Well Crafted Film-Noir with Political Undertones

Arrogant smart aleck pickpocket Skip McCoy (Richard Widmark) really picks on the wrong purse when he snatches a wallet from Candy (Jean Peters). Both of them had no idea that the wallet consisted a microfilm with top-secret government secrets meant for communist spies.

Screenplay is masterfully written, right on the point stuff without too much unnecessary fat, characters are well developed, story flows so naturally that none of the twists and turns take too much focus on one singular moment. I guess Samuel Fuller's journalist background has something to do with it. Smooth and detailed direction with nice nuances and touches almost unnoticeable - scene where Candy discovers that her wallet is gone from the purse, an alarm goes off in the background.

Richard Widmark is in his usual top form as arrogant pickpocket with heart at right place and Jean Peters is wonderfully natural as punching bag, but never just as damsel in distress. Thelma Ritter gives warm and interesting performance as street stoolie Moe (no wonder she received six Academy Award nominations including one for this role). Rest of the supporting cast deserves high recognition also without pointing anyone particular.

With 'Pickup on South Street' Samuel Fuller's potential and craftsmanship as a director really came together and the result is well written, masterfully directed and magnificently acted smooth film-noir

Reviewed by christopher-underwood 8 / 10

the real surprise is Jean Peters

Good solid and impressive noir with fabulous central performance from Richard Widmark. Perhaps not surprising because Widmark is always good but the real surprise is Jean Peters. Wish she had done more films, because here she is a revelation in a complicated role as gangster's moll cum prostitute with a heart of gold and then some. She is also believably tough. Big bad boyfriend sends her out with the gun, her only trouble is that she is up against Widmark. The wisest wise guy going. Apparently in Germany and France the communist theme was replaced with drug dealing and for me I reckon that would be a better idea - the 'better dead than red' US flag waving element being the weakest part of the film BUT seeing an excerpt in the extras with big bad Sam Fuller talking about the film, it is clear this was very much to his heart. So, hard for us Brits to ever quite understand the American position here but I guess it resounds even today. Very entertaining film with great location shots and impressive studio sets for the waterfront. Thelma Ritter is also great!

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