Pickup on South Street Reviews
The pictures about this dame, see, and she be carrying some loot too hot to handle in this purse of hers, that is until she goes and gets it lifted off her person. The only catch is the police are looking for this particular item themselves, along with the feds and all the rest of them government types. The guy who lifts it, he don't know what he's got until its too late. Pretty soon, everyone's up to their necks in commie plots and secret microfilm formulas. The kinda stuff the movies are made of, right.
Well this flick's got it all. Suspense, murder, beautiful broads and a whole gang of smooth talking rats who have only one thing on their minds and ain't none of it any good. So do yourself a favor and go check it out for yourself and see what all the fuss is about. It's called Pickup on South Street. Don't forget the name. Tell 'em Mo sent you.
Fuller presents an unapologetic view of the shady and dangerous life of someone hunted not only by the police, but also the government. In short, classic Fuller.
With this, Fuller throws a monkey wrench in the classic battle between American good versus Communist evil. I don't know how this one got passed the censorship, but maybe as long as Communists were vilified, then they didn't care so much about the subtext. It is a smart and subtly subversive noir and is well worth a watch.
Director Sam Fuller certainly packs a punch with this hard hitting drama. And punches are literally laid out to the females, especially poor old Jean Peters as Candy, the prostitute who gets socked on the jaw as well as being tossed around like a rag doll. One often feels sorry for her, although she does get retribution. Weasel faced Widmark plays to type as the cocky tea leaf all dressed in his trademark fedora and suit. Sexual chemistry between the leads add fission as they try to outwit each other. Although it is Thelma Ritter as Moe who steals the film as a police informer with scruples.
Pickup On South Street is very much of it's time, a propaganda film that points decidedly at the "Commies" as the bad guys as oppose to the more sympathetic characters such as the stool pidgeon and the prostitute who become more patriotic as events unfold. All that is except Skip who will do anything for a quick buck. The Cold War casts a large shadow over the film. Interestingly the French, not liking the anti-Communist message, dubbed in a plot using drugs instead.
A dynamic, violent thriller, Fuller who also wrote the script delivers a visually rewarding film noir that never lets up. With action and interest in every scene and the location shots of New York excitingly staged.
All in all, a cracker!