6.8/10
168
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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Writers:

, (novel) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
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
Robert Lowell ...
Counter-man (as Mark Lowell)
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>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

24 July 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Aufgelesen  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Connections

Referenced in Dungeon Girl (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Michaels takes no prisoners.
3 January 2017 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

B-movie masochist Hugo Haas gets worked over by lanky ballbuster Evelyn Michaels in the B queen's first lead where she lays waste to a couple of paramours who fail to see past her pretty face into her ugly soul before falling victim. Haas may gain sympathy but Michaels commands the screen.

Widower Jan"Hunky" Horak runs the train depot away from town. Melancholy over the recent death of his dog Haas goes to the town fair to purchase a dog but he haggles over the price and instead finds himself distracted by Betty awing the local males while riding side saddle displaying some impressive gams. Instead of bringing a puppy home he brings her and they soon wed. Being a stationmaster's wife may not be her cup of tea but she's seen his bank book which makes her stay put. She's soon flirting with Steve (Allan Nixon) who fills in at the station and when Horak suddenly loses his hearing they brazenly plot in front of him.

The limited acting abilities of Michaels are simply cancelled out by the uber cynical Betty with her relentless pursuit of a life on easy street if only momentarily. She can toy but once in charge holds nothing back. Haas is a bit of a European Steiger before Steiger does some interesting emoting especially when confronting the ugly truth while pretending to hear nothing. Nixon's ambiguity gives Steve a decency allowing for conflicting emotion while Howard Chamberlain as a vagabond and on to Betty's game remains on the periphery getting his barbs in.

Haas direction is both steady and imaginative especially when dealing with Jan's deafness and while some scenes have a ragged finish there are flashes of suspense that crackle as Michaels emasculates and Haas crumbles. His introduction of Betty riding side saddle on a merry go round, the horse moving her body up and down in low angle dominating both the shot and the gaze of nearly every man at the fair is as in your face a femme fatale introduction as you might find in noir.

Haas would later trade in Michaels in favor of Cleo Moore as his B queen. The more voluptuous Moore may have had more talent and range as an actress but she lacked her ability to convey the tough as nails resolve and misandry Michaels possessed.


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