Pickup on South Street (1953) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • On a crowded subway, Skip McCoy picks the purse of Candy. Among his take, although he does not know it at the time, is a piece of top-secret microfilm that was being passed by Candy's consort, a Communist agent. Candy discovers the whereabouts of the film through Moe Williams, a police informer. She attempts to seduce McCoy to recover the film. She fails to get back the film and falls in love with him. The desperate agent exterminates Moe and savagely beats Candy. McCoy, now goaded into action, confronts the agent in a particularly brutal fight in a subway.

  • In New York, the pickpocket Skip McCoy steals a wallet in the purse of a woman named Candy in the subway. His action is witnessed by FBI Agent Zara but Skip escapes from the wagon with the wallet. When Candy discovers that she was stolen, she returns to the house of her former lover Joey that is worried about the incident. Meanwhile Zara goes to the police station and asks Captain Dan Tiger to identify the pickpockets in that area. He explains that he was following Candy that would deliver a microfilm to the chief of a communist spy ring. Captain Tiger summons the old informer Moe that sells the identity and address of Skip. Candy also seeks out Moe trying to find the pickpocket that stole her wallet. Meanwhile Skip finds the microfilm and learns how valuable it is to the communists. Candy also discovers that Joey is communist and is using her in a treason act and she falls in love with Skip. Soon a cat and mouse game among Skip, the police department and the spies begins.

  • When professional pickpocket Skip McCoy picks Candy's purse on a crowded New York City subway car, he gets more than just her wallet - he gets a microfilm of secret plans that were destined to Communist spies. Candy is desperate to get the microfilm back and manages to identify McCoy through an acquaintance.. When McCoy learns the value of what he's stolen, he sits back prepared to offer the microfilm to whoever will pay him $25,000. Things become complicated however when Candy falls in love with McCoy and the traitor starts gunning people down to get his hands on the film.

  • Two strangers - Skip McCoy and Candy - have a not so chance meeting on a crowded subway. Freshly out of jail, McCoy is back at work as a pickpocket, Candy's purse which is his current sight. What he manages to steal from Candy's purse is some microfilm with secret US government plans that Candy was about to deliver to the Communists for her ex-boyfriend, Joey. What she didn't know was the nature of her delivery, that Joey is a Communist agent, and that federal agents, who knew her destination, saw McCoy's move. The federal agents with the police on one side, and Candy, Joey and their associates on the other side, are all after McCoy. But McCoy also finds out the importance of his take, and instead of buckling under the pressure, holds onto the film ultimately to dispose of to whoever can come up with $25,000 sale price. Once she learns more about all the players involved, Candy changes her allegiances. But when one of the players becomes desperate, the proceedings turn to a violent nature. In the end, motivation for some turns from that of retrieving the microfilm and money to one of personal loyalty.

  • A pickpocket unwittingly lifts a message destined for enemy agents and becomes a target for a Communist spy ring.


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