Wednesday, March 16 at 7:00pm | Regular admission prices
The luridly gripping thriller Pickup on South Street is a leading exemplar of pulp-fiction maestro Sam Fuller’s brutally kinetic cinema, filled with the director’s signature raw energy and hardboiled repartee.
“The most claustrophobic American film before Psycho, and the finest distillation of Sam Fuller’s tabloid sensibility.” – Charles Taylor, Village Voice
Noir tough guy Richard Widmark (Kiss of Death) is “three-time loser” Skip McCoy, a New York pickpocket who finds himself dangerously embroiled in Cold War espionage when he inadvertently lifts some microfilm from the purse of Candy (Jean Peters, Viva Zapata!), former mistress of a Red spy. The next thing the lowlife wharf rat knows, he’s the hottest thing in the Big Apple, with the Commies and the Feds all trying to take a piece out of his hide. A former New York crime reporter, writer/director Fuller (Shock Corridor, The Naked Kiss) lets the action unfolds in a sensationally shadowy, shabby universe of sweaty subways, sinister waterfronts, and seedy hotel rooms. In Fuller’s world, the heroes aren’t necessarily the do-gooder Feds, but rather the nervy grifters more interested in their own survival than affairs of state. Top-notch character actress Thelma Ritter (Rear Window), as lovable stool-pigeon Moe – “What do I know about Commies? Nothing. I just know I don’t like them.” – earned an Oscar nomination for her supporting role. With its dazzling cast and pulpy verve, Pickup on South Street is a true film noir classic from one of America’s most passionate cinematic craftsmen. (Dir. by Samuel Fuller, 1953, USA, 80 mins., Not Rated)