From Masters of Cinema:
"If you refuse to cooperate you'll be as guilty as the traitors who gave Stalin the A-bomb."
"Are you waving the flag at ME?!"
Samuel Fuller's sensational film noir, Pickup on South Street casts a steely eye at America in the dawn of the Cold War, and brings 1950s New York City alive on the screen in a manner rarely equaled in the annals of film.
In one of his greatest roles, Richard Widmark plays Skip McCoy, a seasoned pickpocket who unknowingly filches some radioactive loot: microfilm of top-secret government documents. Soon after, Skip finds himself mixed up with federal agents, Commie agents, and a professional stool pigeon by the name of Moe (played by Thelma Ritter in her finest role this side of Rear Window).
With its complex ideology, outrageous dialogue, and electric action sequences, Pickup on South Street crackles in a way that only a Sam Fuller movie can, and is widely considered one of the director's finest achievements.
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