7.8/10
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91 user 86 critic

Pickup on South Street (1953)

Approved | | Crime, Film-Noir, Thriller | 1 August 1953 (Japan)
A pickpocket unwittingly lifts a message destined for enemy agents and becomes a target for a Communist spy ring.

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

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Zara (as Willis B. Bouchey)
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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 law took a chance on a B-girl... and won!


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

1 August 1953 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Blaze of Glory  »

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Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Samuel Fuller's autobiography, "A Third Face," Betty Grable had wanted the role of Candy, and demanded that there be a dance number in the film. Fuller refused. Grable then said she would do the film without the dance number, but by that point Fuller had been rehearsing with Jean Peters and didn't want to lose her for the role. See more »

Goofs

At one point, it's stated that McCoy is living on the west side. However, the Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan Bridge - on the East River - are visible at times out his window. See more »

Quotes

Moe Williams: You got any Happy Money?
Candy: Happy Money?
Moe Williams: Yeah, money that's gonna make me happy.
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Connections

Featured in Der Ausdruck der Hände (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Mam'selle
Music by Edmund Goulding
Lyrics by Mack Gordon
[played on Moe's phonograph]
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User Reviews

 
Grifters, B-girls, secret microfilm: great ingredients for film noir...
29 October 2005 | by See all my reviews

Director Samuel Fuller concocts a brilliant visual set-up to this gritty story: cocky pickpocket unwittingly lifts some microfilm from a woman's purse; it turns out she's a courier for the Communists, and now they are both being watched by the police. The noir formula in all its 1950s glory--before the ingredients became clichés--including waterfront locales, floozies, saxophones on the soundtrack, and one hell of a climactic fistfight. Performances by Richard Widmark and Jean Peters are right on target, and the smart, sharp script is quite colorful. Fabulous Thelma Ritter received an Oscar nomination for knockout supporting role as a "professional stoolie". Exciting, atmospheric, tough as nails. *** from ****


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