6.8/10
171
9 user 10 critic

Pickup (1951)

Approved | | Drama, Film-Noir | 24 July 1951 (USA)
Low-budget, tabloid-lurid story with high camp value of older man falling for much younger beauty who's busy figuring out how she can kill him now that they're married. Nasty verbal ... See full summary »

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, (novel) | 1 more credit »
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1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Jan 'Hunky' Horak
...
Betty Horak
Allan Nixon ...
Steve Kowalski
Howland Chamberlain ...
'The Professor', tramp
...
Irma, Betty's friend
...
Peddler with Dog
Mark Lowell ...
Counter-man
Jack Daley ...
Company Doctor
Art Lewis ...
The Motorist
Marjorie Beckett ...
Woman In Crowd
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Storyline

Low-budget, tabloid-lurid story with high camp value of older man falling for much younger beauty who's busy figuring out how she can kill him now that they're married. Nasty verbal encounters and above all, Beverly Michaels, spike up this flick. Written by <cantor@sirius.com>

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Plot Keywords:

based on novel | See All (1) »

Taglines:

Easy to "pick-up" - but you won't - if you know what's good for you! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

24 July 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Aufgelesen  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Connections

Version of Hlidac c.47 (1937) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Big gal Beverly Michaels chief attraction of cut-rate masochistic fantasy
19 April 2003 | by (Western New York) – See all my reviews

Was Fritz Lang a fan of Hugo Haas? Distinctive elements of both Lang's Clash by Night and Human Desire are foreshadowed in Haas' Pickup (there's also an element left over from Jean Renoir's Woman on the Beach). But Czech-born Haas, a starvation-budget auteur of the 1950s, lacked the depth and style of his European colleagues. That's not so terrible, except that he also lacked their nerve, and as an actor rooted in comedy, the nerve for noir.

Towering Beverly Michaels finds herself on queer street and spots in lonely widower Haas a way off of it. He mans a milk-run railroad pit-stop but has $7300 in the bank; she knows because she snuck a look at his passbook and married him for it. Trackside life soon proves a drag for the high-maintenance blonde, however, and she nags him to fake a disability so they can take early retirement and move back to the comparatively bright lights of town; she also strikes up a romance with his relief man Allan Nixon.

Fate intervenes when Haas is suddenly struck deaf, putting his pension within reach. But just as suddenly he gets a face full of fender on a trip into town and regains his hearing – unbeknownst to his wife and his assistant. He listens impassively as they boldly exchange endearments, and just as mutely when Michaels works the flirtatious talk around to murder....

The strongest hand Haas has going for him in Pickup is Michaels, his off-screen wife at the time. Her grasp of the gold-digger's ways was as firm as that of any actress, and her physical stature was exceeded only by Hope Emerson's. But otherwise the film's cheapness shows; apart from scenes at a carnival which look like stock footage, the action is confined to Haas' shanty and a stretch of railroad track. And, having indulged himself in a masochistic fantasy, Haas seems too timid to follow it where it seems bound to go, taking abrupt refuge in a jarring change of tone just at the end. And that end, too, foreshadows the final shot of another Beverly Michaels film, Russell Rouse's Wicked Woman: Her bags packed, she hits the road.


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