Countdown to 5K! – #62 – Pickup on South Street (1953)

This is my 4987th Review

Original Rating prediction – 6/10


“Listen, Mister. When I come in here tonight, you seen an old clock runnin’ down. I’m tired. I’m through. Happens to everybody sometime. It’ll happen to you too, someday. With me it’s a little bit of everything. Backaches and headaches. I can’t sleep nights. It’s so hard to get up in the morning, and get dressed and walk the streets. Climb the stairs. I go right on doin’ it! Well, what am I gonna do, knock it? I have to go on makin’ a livin’… so I can die. But even a fancy funeral ain’t worth waitin’ fer if I gotta do bus’ness with crumbs like you.” – Moe

Number of Times Seen – 1 (15 Feb 2019)

Brief Synopsis – After a pickpocket steals a wallet on the train that also includes top secret information, both the police and those who were smuggling the information want to get the information back before it’s too late.

My Take on it – This is a film that I knew absolutely nothing about before choosing it for this series.

I have always been a fan of Richard Widmark’s work and the premise of the film also sounded a bit intriguing.

They do an excellent job showing how the underworld of New York City works and we can see how the noir aspect can enhance this kind of story throughout.

The cast of this film is great and Widmark and Thelma Ritter both stand out among the rest as shady characters living in the nooks and crannies of the city

The story itself works extremely well and allows us to see how the underworld of the 1950’s works especially when things are so close after World War II

The story does an amazing job utilizing the fear of communism while also showing the power of the mob at the same time.

The best part about it is that it allows us to see things from various perspectives and the way that it shows the patriotic aspects of the world at the time shines through so well.

Also really liked the way that they show how pickpockets work so deftly and swiftly.

Bottom Line – Great noir crime that shows the dark side of the city in a really nice way. The cast is great and both Widmark and Ritter stand out as a shady characters. The story works quite well as it allows us to see how things work in the underworld of the 50’s not long after the end of World War II.  The way that the story manages to utilize both the red scare and the mob all at once also is done really well because it allows us to see this kind of story from various perspectives but especially from a patriotic one. Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – In the opening scene on the subway, a soldier who leaves the train is shown wearing the “Big Red One” 1st Infantry Division shoulder patch. Director Samuel Fuller fought with the 1st Infantry Division during World War II, and later made a film about it – The Big Red One (1980). (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy (8/10)


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2 thoughts on “Countdown to 5K! – #62 – Pickup on South Street (1953)

  1. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1953 | MovieRob

  2. Pingback: Did They Get it Right? – Best Supporting Actress – Oscars 1953 | MovieRob

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