Sunday, October 10, 2010

Pickup on South Street

Things go awry for a pickpocket when he picks the purse of a woman on the subway. Soon the cops are tracking him down, the woman has fallen for him and it’s possible that they have been unknowingly involved in a plot to get information to the communists. The kicker is that if he’s brought in, this would be his third strike, and that means they’d throw away the key…

Pickup on South Street is a classic noir crime tale, but mixed with the paranoia of the Cold War – a brilliant idea. Instead of the local crime lord or good guy gone bad, we get cops and communists and the American fear of the unknown enemy. What makes the fear, the item stolen, so daunting in this movie to all of our players is that none of them know who the enemy is or who to believe.

While Pickup on South Street is a great noir, it is not a traditional one. However, for any noir lover it should be on their list of movies to see.

Director: Samuel Fuller

Skip McCoy: You boys are talking to the wrong corner. I'm just a guy keeping my hands in my own pockets.
FBI Agent Zara: If you refuse to cooperate you'll be as guilty as the traitors who gave Stalin the A-bomb.
Skip McCoy: Are you waving the flag at me?

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