PICKUP ON SOUTH STREET (Samuel Fuller, 1953)
209 West Houston St.
May 29 - June 4
Three-time loser Skip McCoy (Richard Widmark) gets more than he bargained for when he lifts femme fatale Candy’s (Jean Peters) wallet on the subway, landing him in trouble with mysterious Joey (Richard Kiley) and the Feds in Samuel Fuller’s fab Cold War noir set in New York City. “If you refuse to cooperate, you’ll be as guilty as the traitors that gave Stalin the A bomb,” the cops tell him, to which Skip classically replies, “Are you waving the flag at me?” Widmark is almost too good as Skip, a suave pickpocket who lives under the Brooklyn Bridge in an old bait and tackle shack. Sure, it gets a little melodramatic at the end, which comes too soon (the film is only eighty minutes long), but it’s worth every minute nonetheless. And yes, that is Brooklyn’s own Thelma Ritter as the curious little lady who sells ties for information, earning her fourth consecutive Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress. One of Fuller’s best, Pickup on South Street is screening at Film Forum in a new 4K restoration May 29 to June 4.