Pickup on South Street

Synopsis: On a crowded subway, Skip McCoy picks the purse of Candy. Among his take, although he does not know it at the time, is a piece of top-secret microfilm that was being passed by Candy's consort, a Communist agent. Candy discovers the whereabouts of the film through Moe Williams, a police informer. She attempts to seduce McCoy to recover the film. She fails to get back the film and falls in love with him. The desperate agent exterminates Moe and savagely beats Candy. McCoy, now goaded into action, confronts the agent in a particularly brutal fight in a subway.
Director(s): Samuel Fuller
Production: Twentieth Century Fox
  Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 1 nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes:
80 min

- What happened?

- I'm not sure yet.

But I had it with me when I left.

That I know.

You sure you took the right purse?

Well, of course I'm sure.

You saw me put it in.

Look, I must have had my purse picked.

I'm sure of it.

Well, what'll I do, Joey?

Should I go up and see him anyway?

No. Come back right away.

- She's scared.

- She should be.

- Did you get a good look at him?

- Yeah.

Don't lose her.

- Have a seat, Mr. Zara.

- Thank you.

We don't often get a chance

to cooperate with you people...

but if there's anything we can do,

just name it.

- I'm looking for a pickpocket.

- What's his name?

- Don't know.

- We're in trouble.

He stole a wallet out of a woman's purse

on the subway this morning.

- You know what he looks like?

- Mm-hmm.

We're in business.

- So the Commies are mixed up in this.

- Uh-huh.

She's been passing

military information to the agents.

- You know the man she was to pass the stuff to?

- Nope.

Got a line on everybody else

in the picture, except him.

He's Mr. Big.

Carts the stuff out of the country.

All we know is, as soon as he gets his hands

on that film, he'll cross the ocean with it.

So that's the way it happened.

- It's just one of those tough breaks, Joey.

- Hmm.

- Well, I'm sorry.

- We've got to find him.

In New York?

You're crazy.

We've got to find that film.


Yeah. That's right.

That's what you were carrying

in your wallet.

You know what was on that film?

- A new patent for a chemical formula.

- So?

Candy, it's the most important patent

we've ever had.

- What are you getting so excited about?

- Because we can't get another copy of it!

Joey, you're talking like it was hot.

How many times do I have to tell you,

we're not criminals.

This is big business.

Cutthroat business.

- And I'm in a spot.

- Well...

I told ya,

I'm sorry it happened...

but there's nothin' I can do about it.

So you just tell your boss

I had my bag picked.

Wait a minute.

You're not walking out on me now.

Look, we made a deal.

You promised me.

- No more deliveries after we broke up.

- That's right.

And you promised to make

this last one for me.

Well, sure, I did.

But I can't help it if some guy-

Look, look. Wait a minute.

Candy, you're a smart girl.

- You can figure out a way to find him.

- But I don't know anything about pickpockets.

Well, you've knocked around a lot.

- You know people who know people.

- You gonna throw that in my face again?

Look, Candy, you've got to help me.

You know what he looks like.

If I had your contacts,

I wouldn't be begging like this.

Well, maybe I can get ya a lead.

Candy, if you can find that pickpocket for me,

I'll never bother ya again. Never.

I promise ya.

All right, Joey.

We have a thousand photos to go through...

and from here on in,

it's anybody's guess.

How long do you think it'll take?

Maybe the rest of the day.

Maybe all night.

- Who knows?

- Is there a faster method?

Well, there is one character

who can help us out.

Maybe. Not exactly kosher.

- We're fighting time.

- Well, no harm trying.

Maybe Moe can speed this up a little.

Who's Moe?

Hello, Moe.

Who's the creep?

What's he in for?

He looks like a second-story cat thief.

I got a polka-dot job that was

just made for your personality, Tiger.

- We gotta get quick action.

- Everything around here is always an emergency.

Hey. This got something to do with homicide?

- No.

- I got no killers on my table.

I'm gonna stay in business

long enough to feed this kitty.

- How's she doing?

- Gettin' fat.

I got almost enough

to buy the stone and the plot.

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Samuel Fuller

Samuel Michael Fuller (August 12, 1912 – October 30, 1997) was an American screenwriter, novelist, and film director known for low-budget, understated genre movies with controversial themes, often made outside the conventional studio system. Fuller wrote his first screenplay for Hats Off in 1936, and made his directorial debut with the Western I Shot Jesse James (1949). He would continue to direct several other Westerns and war thrillers throughout the 1950s. Fuller shifted from Westerns and war thrillers in the 1960s with his low-budget thriller Shock Corridor in 1963, followed by the neo-noir The Naked Kiss (1964). He was inactive in filmmaking for most of the 1970s, before writing and directing the war epic The Big Red One (1980), and the experimental White Dog (1982), whose screenplay he co-wrote with Curtis Hanson. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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