7.7/10
12,764
112 user 94 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 »

Photos

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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 law 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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Did You Know?

Trivia

The German title for the movie is "Polizei greift ein" ("Police Intervene"). The film is clearly about espionage, but in the German version the title was changed and even the dialogue referring to the spying was completely replaced by dialogue about drug dealing. See more »

Goofs

Joey tells Candy that the stolen film is of "a new patent for a chemical formula" and "we can't get another copy of it". It is a common misconception that patents are secret. Actually they are open to the public, and another copy could have been obtained from the U. S. Patent Office for a nominal fee. See more »

Quotes

Moe Williams: Ask a silly question, you get a dopey look.
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

Featured in The Typewriter, the Rifle & the Movie Camera (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

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

User Reviews

 
Grifters, B-girls, secret microfilm: great ingredients for film noir...
29 October 2005 | by moonspinner55See 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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Frequently Asked Questions

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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 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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