Samuel Fuller

Pickup on South Street

Pickup on South Street

Petty crook Skip McCoy (Richard Widmark) has his eyes fixed on the big score. When the cocky three-time convict picks the pocketbook of unsuspecting Candy (Jean Peters), he finds a haul bigger than he could have imagined: a strip of microfilm bearing confidential U.S. secrets. Tailed by manipulative Feds and the unwitting courier’s Communist puppeteers, Skip and Candy find themselves in a precarious gambit that pits greed against redemption, Right versus Red, and passion against self-preservation. With its dazzling cast and director Samuel Fuller’s signature raw energy and hardboiled repartee, Pickup on South Street is a true film noir classic by one of America’s most passionate cinematic craftsmen.

Film Info

  • Samuel Fuller
  • United States
  • 1953
  • 80 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 1.33:1
  • English
  • Spine #224

Special Features

  • High-definition digital transfer, with restored image and sound
  • Exclusive interview with director Sam Fuller, made by renowned film critic Richard Schickel
  • Cinéma Cinémas: Fuller, French television show with Fuller discussing the making of the film
  • Illustrated biographical essay on Fuller
  • Complete Fuller poster filmography
  • Stills galleries of photos, lobby cards, and original paintings
  • Trailers for eight Sam Fuller films
  • PLUS: Essays by Martin Scorsese and acclaimed cultural historian Luc Sante

Cover by Lucien S. Y. Yang

Purchase Options

Special Features

  • High-definition digital transfer, with restored image and sound
  • Exclusive interview with director Sam Fuller, made by renowned film critic Richard Schickel
  • Cinéma Cinémas: Fuller, French television show with Fuller discussing the making of the film
  • Illustrated biographical essay on Fuller
  • Complete Fuller poster filmography
  • Stills galleries of photos, lobby cards, and original paintings
  • Trailers for eight Sam Fuller films
  • PLUS: Essays by Martin Scorsese and acclaimed cultural historian Luc Sante

Cover by Lucien S. Y. Yang

Pickup on South Street
Cast
Richard Widmark
Skip McCoy
Jean Peters
Candy
Thelma Ritter
Moe
Murvyn Vye
Captain Dan Tiger
Richard Kiley
Joey
Willis B. Bouchey
Zara
Milburn Stone
Winoki
Henry Slate
MacGregor
Victor Perry
Lightning Louie
Credits
Director
Samuel Fuller
Producer
Jules Schermer
Cinematography
Joseph MacDonald
Screenplay
Samuel Fuller
From a story by
Dwight Taylor
Director of photography
Joe MacDonald
Music
Leigh Harline
Musical direction
Lionel Newman
Art direction
Lyle Wheeler
Art direction
George Patrick
Set decoration
Al Orenbach
Film editor
Nick De Maggio
Wardrobe direction
Charles Le Maire
Costumes designed by
Travilla
Orchestration
Edward Powell
Makeup artist
Ben Nye
Special photographic effects
Ray Kellogg
Sound
Winston H. Leverett

From The Current

Richard Hell’s Top 10

Richard Hell was a founding member of the early CBGB bands Television, the Heartbreakers, and Richard Hell & the Voidoids. His Voidoids album Blank Generation (Sire, 1977) is generally acknowledged as seminal to “punk.”


Sam Fuller in Scotland

Flashbacks

Sam Fuller in Scotland

In person, Sam was a blunt-nosed nonconformist, small of stature but forever leading with his Cuban cigar.

By Peter Cowie

/
Juice, with Lots of Pulp: Samuel Fuller’s Brainquake
Juice, with Lots of Pulp: Samuel Fuller’s Brainquake

A review of the American auteur’s posthumously published novel

By Michael Atkinson

/
Susie Bright’s Top 10

Writer, teacher, and performer Susie Bright is a trailblazer in the academic study of pornography and eroticism in mainstream cinema.


Georgia Hubley’s Top 10

Georgia Hubley is one of the founding members of the Hoboken, New Jersey, band Yo La Tengo, whose The Sounds of Science, a score to eight Jean Painlevé shorts, is available on Criterion’s DVD set Science Is Fiction: 23 Films by Jean Painlevé.


Scott Morse’s Top Ten

Scott Morse is a storyteller with one foot in the world of comics and the other in the world of film.


SAM FULLER, “THE COMPLETE AUTEUR”

“Why Sam Fuller?” a new essay by Tag Gallagher, in the latest issue of Senses of Cinema, asks. Aficionados might wonder, why even ask? But perhaps they forget that the two-fisted termite art of this now much-heralded genre filmmaker was once cons…


Jaime Hernandez’s Top 10

Hernandez is the coauthor—along with his brothers Gilbert and Mario—of the seminal comic Love and Rockets. His most recent books, all available from Fantagraphics Books, include Ghost of Hoppers, The Education of Hopey Glass, and Locas: The Maggi


Me and Sam Fuller

It is a good time to belong to the cult of Fuller. Those of us who consider ourselves members never forget our moment of induction. Some enlisted when his films first hit the screen—lucky enough to catch The Steel Helmet in a shabby downtown theate…

By Lisa Dombrowski


Robin Wood’s Top 10

This month we asked critic Robin Wood—whose books include Hitchcock’s Films and Hollywood from Vietnam to Reagan and who recently wrote essays for the Criterion releases The Furies and Le plaisir—to pick his ten favorite films in the collection


Pickup on South Street:
Extra! Pickpocket Foils Doom Plot!

Samuel Fuller had ink in his veins, just like the hero of his 1952 newspaper epic, Park Row. After all, he started working as a copy boy when he was fourteen or so, and at seventeen he was the youngest crime reporter in the country, employed by the m…

By Luc Sante


Explore

Samuel Fuller

Writer, Director

Crime reporter, freelance journalist, pulp novelist, screenwriter, World War II infantryman—Samuel Fuller was a jack of all trades before the high-school dropout directed his first film at age thirty-six. But once he was contacted by Poverty Row producer Robert L. Lippert, a fan of his writing, Fuller was turned on to cinema—his true calling. A singularly audacious visionary of the B-movie variety, Fuller would make muscular, minuscule pictures, starting with the one-two-three punch of I Shot Jesse James, The Baron of Arizona, and The Steel Helmet—the last a raw Korean War saga that was one of the few films of the period to address racism in America. Soon after, Fuller was scooped up by Twentieth Century Fox, but he was able to maintain his purposefully crude, elegantly stripped-down style and teeth-bared cynicism for such studio efforts as Fixed Bayonets! and Pickup on South Street. Eventually, Fuller returned to independent filmmaking, and in the sixties (after his artistic cred had been given a shot in the arm by the French New Wavers’ embrace of him as a major stylistic influence), he directed two of his most acclaimed titles, the pulpy and profound Shock Corridor and The Naked Kiss, both corrosive satires of American culture. Even in his career’s twilight, Fuller didn’t shy away from controversy: his early eighties social horror film White Dog was shelved by the studio for more than a decade due to its provocative, bloody investigation of American racism.