7.7/10
11,553
102 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)
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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 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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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

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

Goofs

At one point, Candy refers to an address in New York City on Houston Street (pronouncing it like John Huston or the Texas city). In reality, the street is pronounced "House-ton" - something known to every New Yorker. 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 »

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 Goodbye Lover (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
Thelma Ritter kicks butt in Pickup on South Street
21 June 2001 | by banseSee all my reviews

Directed by Samuel Fuller, who also wrote the screenplay, Pickup on South Street is a tough, brutal, well made film about a pickpocket (Richard Widmark) who inadvertently aquires top-secret microfilm and becomes a target for espionage agents. Also involved are Jean Peters as a tough broad who is used as a courier by her evil ex-lover Richard Kiley. It's film-noir at its best and although the performances are very good its grand character actress Thelma Ritter who steals the movie. As Moe a weary street peddler selling neck ties (and who also sells information) she is terrific in a role that brought her another Oscar nomination. Its amazing that Miss Ritter was nominated six times for an Academy Award and she never won. This should have been the role that copped it for her!


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