7.7/10
11,969
105 user 91 critic

Pickup on South Street (1953)

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

Director:

Samuel Fuller

Writers:

Samuel Fuller (screenplay), Dwight Taylor (story)
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Richard Widmark ... Skip McCoy
Jean Peters ... Candy
Thelma Ritter ... Moe Williams
Murvyn Vye ... Police Captain Dan Tiger
Richard Kiley ... Joey
Willis Bouchey ... Zara (as Willis B. Bouchey)
Milburn Stone ... Detective Winoki
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Storyline

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. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

How the F.B.I. took a chance on a B-girl...and won! See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 August 1953 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Blaze of Glory See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$780,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry in 2018, by the Library of Congress for being, "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant." See more »

Goofs

When Skip gets off a subway train at the 33rd street station, he is getting off of an IND line R-1 train. There is no 33rd street station on any IND line. The only 33rd street station is on the Lexington Ave Line(today known as the #6 train). The Lexington Ave line is a branch of the IRT line and did not use the R-1 cars. They used the Low V cars. An R-1 car was too wide and would not fit on to the IRT tracks See more »

Quotes

Skip McCoy: I know you pinched me three times and got me convicted three times and made me a three time loser. And I know you took an oath to put me away for life. Well you're trying awful hard with all this patriotic eye-wash, but get this: I didn't grift that film and you can't prove I did! And if I said I did, you'd slap that fourth rap across my teeth no matter what promises you made!
See more »

Alternate Versions

When the movie was released in France, the French dubbing replaced the communists spying with drug dealing to avoid political controversy. No English print with subtitles went in circulation. The French title "Le port de la drogue" could be translated by "Pier of Drug". The original version was released several years after. See more »

Connections

Remade as The Cape Town Affair (1967) See more »

Soundtracks

Again
(uncredited)
Music by Lionel Newman
[love theme for Candy and Skip]
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Terrific film-noir political thriller
11 April 2003 | by perfectbondSee all my reviews

I really enjoyed this film. All aspects of the film were top notch including the most important, for me anyway, the screenplay and the acting. This is definitely one of Richard Widmark's strongest roles. He is totally convincing in his performance. Just out of curiosity, imagine how Humphrey Bogart or Robert Mitchum might have tackled this role. This is my first exposure to Jean Peter's work that I can remember. She impressed so much here that I will definitely be on the lookout for her other work. Thelma Ritter, in an unglamourous role, deserved the Oscar nomination she received for playing the informant. This film works on every level. The black and white photography is perfectly appropriate and the story hooks the viewer right from the beginning. Widmark and Peters have great chemistry in their difficult romance. Strongly recommended, 9/10.


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