52 Pick-Up - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

52 Pick-Up Reviews

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February 29, 2016
This is one of the rare gems that came from "Cannon Films."
January 31, 2015
This film was largely dismissed as sleaze when it first came out and was considered something of a step down in quality for director John Frankenheimer compared to some of his classics, like a lot of his films of this period. However, this is a film that I think has aged well and is worth another look. Yes, it is a sleazy Elmore Leonard story, scripted by the author himself, about Roy Scheider being blackmailed by the terrifically villainous John Glover and his marvelously scary henchmen Clarence Wiliams III. The film does wallow in sex, drugs and violence, but so did a lot of excellent crime films the, like "Scarface" or "Eight Million Ways to Die" which were also condemned upon their initial release but are now considered classics. Director Frankenheimer absolutely knows how to build suspense and craft well done action scenes that deliver. There's also a strong supporting cast with Ann-Margret,, Robert Trebor and Doug McClure, 80s regulars Vanity and Kelly Preston, and cameos by porn stars Tom Byron, Ron Jermy (billed as Ron Jeremy Hyatt), Hershel Savage (billed as Harvey Cowen), Randy West and Amber Lynn as various party goers. Gary Chang provided the score and Jost Vacano provided some lush 80s photography. Quite good if you/re in the mood for some well produced 80s sleaze.
August 19, 2014
Dark and gripping to the final scene. Some excellent acting in this by Scheider. Severely underrated but a tremendously original film.
December 20, 2013
Decent EL adaptation.
½ December 16, 2013
Another entry from the Cannon/Golan-Globus film factory of the 80s has businessman a victim of extortion and choosing to fight back. Film seems content to delve into the gutter world of the blackmailers but is lifted almost singlehandedly by the great Roy Scheider.
June 20, 2013
Similarly offensive as "Fatal Attraction" but for different reasons. While Lynne vilifies the home wrecker, Frankenheimer turn the adulterer into the hero. In both cases the husband and wife dynamics are scary as they ultimately are unbelievable drawn together through the ordeal of infidelity. Frankenheimer's vulgar cinematography works surprising well to enhance the dramatic conflict and to give texture but the the protagonists are so ultimately false that it's hard to really care. Vanity plays the most interesting character and is criminally underused. Overall an interesting failure.
December 21, 2012
With a top notch cast, skillfull direction and a wonderfully written story, 52 Pick Up was an underrated crime thriller from the 80's. Based on the Elmore Leonard book, this stars Roy Scheider as a Los Angeles business who's wife(Ann Margaret) is a lawyer with poltical ambitious, he is brought into a web of blackmail by three sleazy degenerates who made tapes of him and his mistress(a very young and sexy Kelly Preston) they demand money, Scheider refuses to pay and leads to tragic consequences for Preston, he gets set up for murder. What makes this film works is the performances of four actors in the film who standout; Ann Margaret proves that she is a talented actress and gives an understated performance of calm even when Scheider tells her about his affair, Clarence Williams III meanacing presence alone sends a chill down to the bone and Vanity(yes, Vanity) as a stripper who knows more than she should. But the powerhouse performer is John Glover who's performance alone as the murdering blackmailer is excellent, he's charming, sleazy and intense all at once. John Frankenheimer is excellent form in assembling this fine cast and keeps the tension on from the first frame to the last. Many have argued that the quality of Cannon Films was low grade, I beg to differ with this film.
½ October 27, 2012
A businessman attempts to turn the tables on three men out to extort money from him with video of his affair with a young stripper. This one gives you an extensive tour through the seedy parts of LA. Another solid outing from Scheider.
September 24, 2012
Strong casting overcomes the weak plot. Enjoyable viewing.
½ July 27, 2012
This is kind of a good movie.
½ June 22, 2012
Great novel, pretty good movie.
March 1, 2012
A little bit of an eighties-sleazy-LA-noir type of film, not quite as good as it should be, but still enjoyable. The score is pretty bad, though.
½ February 4, 2012
Poor John Frankenheimer. Every film he made after THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE was unfairly compared to that classic thriller. And he never seemed to adapt to making his brand of fast-paced thriller in colour; he was a director who really excelled in making B&W films. Then again, 52 PICK-UP is one of those films that led Elmore Leonard, who wrote the book the film is adapted from, to write GET SHORTY to get back at Hollywood. There are no really sympathetic characters and a nasty mysoginyst streak runs through the film.
December 4, 2011
best glover and roy s film out there, two of the best actors most underated actors in the world in of great hidden gem of a film. i love this movie its a fave, a classic, i wish there was another one like it out there, or someone still made a movie like this today.
Super Reviewer
August 26, 2011
A good thriller, it's exciting, dramatic, and even scary at times. I actually started to feel sympathy for the blackmailers towards the end of it. The actors are really terrific, all of them. The story is both realistic and incredible at the same time. It's really energizing in the end. And it's got just enough violence and action. I enjoyed this movie, and if you like a good thriller, you should check it out.
½ August 23, 2011
A businessman attempts to turn the tables on three men out to extort money from him with video of his affair with a young stripper. This one gives you an extensive tour through the seedy parts of LA. Another solid outing from Scheider.
May 26, 2011
Roy Scheider is on my Most Underrated short list.
April 27, 2011
It's a fairly good blackmail film.
March 11, 2011
A video store that I went to as a teenager used to play Top Gun & Ferris Bueller's Day Off until the tapes were worn thin. One time I went there & they were showing this little gem. I thought who ever put it on had lost their mind or just didn't know what it was. It's pretty trashy for public consumption. I love it though & really felt this Elmore Leonard adaptation deserved a lot more respect. Married man Roy Scheider gets caught w/ his dick in the cookie jar & ends up being blackmailed. Scheider basically tells them to go fuck their hat & they end up killing his lover, pinning it on him & blackmail him again. Seedy & fun w/ a great cast especially Clarence Williams III who is best known for playing Prince's father in Purple Rain
Super Reviewer
March 4, 2011
Musical score is the worst part, everything else is tense and great, including a series of propulsive crane shots and steadicam work that rolls behind and in front of characters. Scheider does an impressive job as equal parts tough guy and desperate man. Clarence Williams III and John Glover are truly terrifying, uniquely crafted monsters. For all Frankenheimer's skill in editing and new tricks with the camera, seeking out this movie is worth it simply because villains as disturbingly believable as Alan Raimy and Bobby Shy are rare; to have two of them fill the same movie is a dark miracle.
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