New To Us; New To You…? Recent Addition, Samuel Fuller’s PICKUP ON SOUTH STREET

pickup-on-south-street-movie-poster-1020413528Pickup On South Street (1953)

When petty thief Skip McCoy (Widmark) unwittingly steals a role of micro-film containing top-secret information, he finds he has not only the Communist agents whom he stole it from, but also the police and government agents on his back.

Beautifully shot, fantastic dialogue (Fuller wrote the screenplay himself, as he did for almost all his films) and truly great performances – especially from Thelma Ritter, who received an Academy Award nomination for her role as Moe, the tough but kind-hearted tie-seller/information-peddlar/underworld know-all and Skip’s best friend.

Sam Fuller’s outstanding noir is essential viewing, oozing style and pushing boundaries (note the naturalistic fight sequences, especially the one with Jean Peters, and the dialogue which, whilst snappy, is less pat than dialogue written by other noir masters, most notably Raymond Chandler).

Get in the spirit: watch with a chapeau/ view with a kill.

By Dixie Turner

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