7.7/10
11,604
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 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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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

According to contemporary articles in The Hollywood Reporter, Shelley Winters was originally cast to play Candy, but due to pregnancy, the studio assigned the role to Betty Grable. She refused the part and was put on suspension. Anne Baxter and Linda Darnell were also considered for the role. It finally went to Jean Peters after writer/director Samuel Fuller saw her in the studio commissary, thought the way she walked was perfect for the part, and cast her on the spot. 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

Capt. Dan Tiger: You'll always be a two-bit cannon. And when they pick you up in the gutter dead, you're hand'll be in a drunk's pocket.
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 Men Who Made the Movies: Samuel Fuller (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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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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