Pickup on South Street | Chicago Reader

Pickup on South Street

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. As Fuller's typically perverse, pigheaded hero—a pickpocket who accidentally lifts a roll of top-secret microfilm—Richard Widmark draws on the snickering, psychotic style that first made him a star as a heavy. Fuller's didacticism is fully vented, as is his flair for chunky, racking violence: the film contains an unforgettable image of a thug's chin being bounced rhythmically down a flight of stairs. There's an excellent, layered performance from Thelma Ritter, an actress generally given to cartoonishness. With Jean Peters and Richard Kiley. 80 min.


Cast information not available at this time.

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