7.7/10
12,263
106 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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Popularity
1,890 ( 8,154)
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

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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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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

When Joey leaves the basement after assaulting the police officer, he walks out of the shot, then a cat is obviously thrown into the frame. See more »

Quotes

Skip McCoy: You boys are talking to the wrong corner. I'm just a guy keeping my hands in my own pockets.
FBI Agent Zara: If you refuse to cooperate you'll be as guilty as the traitors who gave Stalin the A-bomb.
Skip McCoy: Are you waving the flag at *me*?
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

Edited into American Cinema: Film Noir (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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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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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