7.8/10
10,708
94 user 87 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

On Disc

at Amazon

Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Crime | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A small-time grifter and nightclub tout takes advantage of some fortuitous circumstances and tries to become a big-time player as a wrestling promoter.

Director: Jules Dassin
Stars: Richard Widmark, Gene Tierney, Googie Withers
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Bent on winning a Pulitzer Prize, a journalist commits himself to a mental institution to solve a strange and unclear murder.

Director: Samuel Fuller
Stars: Peter Breck, Constance Towers, Gene Evans
Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A ragtag group of American stragglers battles against superior Communist troops in an abandoned Buddhist temple during the Korean War.

Director: Samuel Fuller
Stars: Gene Evans, Robert Hutton, Steve Brodie
Crime | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A doomed female hitchhiker pulls Mike Hammer into a deadly whirlpool of intrigue, revolving around a mysterious "great whatsit".

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Ralph Meeker, Albert Dekker, Paul Stewart
Gun Crazy (1950)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A well meaning crack shot husband is pressured by his beautiful marksman wife to go on an interstate robbery spree, where he finds out just how depraved and deadly she really is.

Director: Joseph H. Lewis
Stars: John Dall, Peggy Cummins, Berry Kroeger
Kiss of Death (1947)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

With his law-breaking lifestyle in the past, an ex-con, along with his family, attempt to start a new life, knowing a betrayed someone from the past is bound to see otherwise.

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: Victor Mature, Brian Donlevy, Coleen Gray
Detour (1945)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Chance events trap hitch-hiker Al Roberts in a tightening net of film noir trouble.

Director: Edgar G. Ulmer
Stars: Tom Neal, Ann Savage, Claudia Drake
Forty Guns (1957)
Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Showdown in Arizona between the Bonnell brothers, U.S.Marshals, and Jessica Drummond, the iron-fist rancher who controls the territory.

Director: Samuel Fuller
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Barry Sullivan, Dean Jagger
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Kelly, a prostitute, traumatised by an experience, referred to as 'The Naked Kiss,' by psychiatrists, leaves her past, and finds solace in the town of Grantville. She meets Griff, the ... See full summary »

Director: Samuel Fuller
Stars: Constance Towers, Anthony Eisley, Karen Conrad
The Killers (1946)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Hit men kill an unresisting victim, and investigator Reardon uncovers his past involvement with beautiful, deadly Kitty Collins.

Director: Robert Siodmak
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Ava Gardner, Edmond O'Brien
The Big Heat (1953)
Crime | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Tough cop Dave Bannion takes on a politically powerful crime syndicate.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Glenn Ford, Gloria Grahame, Jocelyn Brando
Drama | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

When a man in mid-life crisis befriends a young woman, her venal fiancé persuades her to con him out of the fortune they mistakenly assume he possesses.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Joan Bennett, Dan Duryea
Edit

Cast

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

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 law took a chance on a B-girl... and won!


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 August 1953 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Blaze of Glory See more »

Edit

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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Darryl F. Zanuck showed Samuel Fuller, who was then under contract to 20th Century Fox, a script by Dwight Taylor called 'Blaze of Glory' about a woman lawyer falling in love with a criminal she was defending in a murder trial. Fuller liked the idea but knew from his previous crime reporter experience that courtroom cases take a long time to play out. Fuller asked Zanuck if he could write a story of a lower criminal and his girlfriend that he originally titled 'Pickpocke't but Zanuck thought the title too "European". Fuller had memories of South Street from his days as a crime reporter and came up with his new title 'Pickup on South Street'. Fuller met Detective Dan Campion of the New York Police Department to research the background material of his story to add realism, with Fuller basing the role of Tiger the police detective on Campion who had been suspended without salary for six months for manhandling a suspect. See more »

Goofs

When Skip and Joey fight in the subway station, they are fighting in a cleared area near the ticket office and then the next two shots show them confined by exit railings near the newspaper stand and then the next shot cuts back to the open area. See more »

Quotes

Moe Williams: I have to go on making a living so I can die. But even a fancy funeral ain't worth waiting for if I've gotta do business with crumbs like you.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Century (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Mam'selle
Music by Edmund Goulding
Lyrics by Mack Gordon
[played on Moe's phonograph]
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
This is quite the special little gem!
6 January 2010 | by Boba_Fett1138See all my reviews

Every now and then there gets released this movie no one has ever heard of and got shot in a very short time with very little money and resource but everybody goes crazy about and turns out to be a surprisingly great one. This also happened in the '50's with quite a few little movies, that not a lot of people have ever heard of. There are really some unknown great surprising little jewels from the '50's that are worth digging out. "Panic in the Streets" is another movie like that that springs to the mind. Both are movies that aren't really like the usual genre flicks from their time and are also made with limited resources.

I was really surprised at how much I ended up liking this movie. It was truly a movie that got better and better as it progressed. Like all 'old' movies it tends to begin sort of slow but once you get into the story and it's characters you're in for a real treat with this movie.

The movie has a really great story that involves espionage, though the movie doesn't start of like that. It begins as this typical crime-thriller with a touch of film-noir to it. But "Pickup on South Street" just isn't really a movie by the numbers so it starts to take its own directions pretty soon on. It ensures that the movie remains a surprising but above all also really refreshing one to watch.

I also really liked the characters within this movie. None of them are really good guys and they all of their flaws and weaknesses. Really humane. It also especially features a great performance from Thelma Ritter, who even received a well deserved Oscar nomination for. It has really got to be one of the greatest female roles I have ever seen.

Even despite its somewhat obvious low budget this is simply one great, original, special little movie that deserves to be seen by more!

10/10

http://bobafett1138.blogspot.com/


18 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 94 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Comedy Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular comedy titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed