Pickup on South Street
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Samuel Fuller scarcely used Dwight Taylor's source material, a languid courtroom romance, in crafting this pugnacious potboiler. Pickup on South Street is strictly Fuller film noir -- lean and wicked straight to its core. Barely out of prison, loner and pickpocket Skip McCoy (Richard Widmark) quietly helps himself to the contents of a woman's purse. His beautiful victim, Candy (Jean Peters), turns out to be an unwitting courier for the communist underground; McCoy's booty is actually microfilmed U.S. government secrets, formerly en route to Moscow. Both the FBI and Candy's… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Pickup for the most part falls flat on its face and borders on presumably unintended, comedy."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"It isn't his best, but this 1953 feature may be the archetypal Sam Fuller film, a condensation of his themes and techniques with the steam still rising."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"Definitely one of the best film noir movies I've seen so far."
‑ Robert Roten, Laramie Movie Scope
"Engagingly captures the hysteria over Reds and the underworld scene of the early 1950s."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"The 1953 picture does a nice job capturing the mentality of the Cold War United States."
‑ Forrest Hartman, Reno Gazette-Journal
"Sam Fuller, who wrote it and directed, appears to have been more concerned with firing a barrage of sensations than with telling a story to be believed."
‑ Bosley Crowther, New York Times
"Almost perfect."
‑ Cole Smithey, ColeSmithey.com
"Great noir piece with Richard Widmark complementing Samuel Fuller's direction."
‑ Steve Crum, Video-Reviewmaster.com
"Along with Shock Corridor (1963), arguably [Fuller's] finest work."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"Fuller [took] genuine chances, [creating] moments of power unequaled by many more respectable directors."
‑ Phil Freeman, culturevulture.net
"Perhaps finally flawed by its overt political assumptions, but the film remains a desperate kind of masterpiece."
‑ , Time Out
"Both Widmark and Peters are superb, but it is Ritter, as the seedy but much-loved Moe, who gives the film its emotional punch."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"80 minutes of breathless genre fun infused with pure, uninhibited passion."
‑ Nick Schager, Lessons of Darkness
"One of Fuller's most compelling films."
‑ Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
"One of Fuller's few studio-financed pictures, this bruising, brutal movie still manages to emanate waves of B-movie street cred at every juncture."
‑ Matt Brunson, Creative Loafing
More reviews for Pickup on South Street on Rotten Tomatoes