Richard Widmark was not just a movie star, but a great actor, just like his idol Spencer Tracy. In this one he beats up some of those darn Communists we've been hearing so much about these days. Ah the 50's.
Nice style, I love Sam Fuller but this is Red-baiting McCarthyist propaganda. The whole "Reds are worse than crooks" routine. Even a disgusting slanderous reference to the Rosenbergs. America in the 1950's was ugly.
In "poesia" list because of Jean Petters and, most of all, the moment of Thelma Rittes murder, an unforgettable moment of cinema, with the great actress representing the immense sadness of life's disinherited.
Although it ultimately comes up a bit short of fulfilling the promise of some outstanding individual elements, Fuller's film is still a deserved classic. Joseph MacDonald gives the seaside shots the darkened atmosphere necessary to fit the story. Probably the quintessential Sam Fuller film.
Despite Samuel Fuller's justified reputation as a subversive and unconventional film director, there's nothing really to distinguish Pickup on South Street from other ordinary film noir. Everything feels a little familiar and the ending is surprisingly flat. Still worth a watch though, if only to enjoy typically charismatic performances on the part of both Richard Widmark and All About Eve's Thelma Ritter.
Try and think of an average Richard Widmark performance. No, me neither. Samuel Fuller's paranoia tinged noir does the smart trick of turning his smartarse pickpocket into the hero of the piece, and no one could better at pulling it off than Widmark. Thelma Ritter's stoolie almost steals the show, but only almost. Excellent.