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PICKUP ON SOUTH STREET
1953, 20th Century Fox, 80 min, USA, Dir: Samuel Fuller

Pickpocket Skip McCoy (Richard Widmark) lifts a stolen military microfilm from the mistress of a Communist spy. 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 kill him. A former New York crime reporter, director Sam Fuller knows how to make a backlot feel like the real thing; in his sweaty subways, skid row tenements and waterfront dives, the heroes aren’t the do-gooder feds, but nervy grifters more interested in their own survival than affairs of state. In Fuller’s world, loyalty vies with self-interest, and tenderness battles brutality to a standstill every step of the way. With Jean Peters, Richard Kiley and an Oscar-nominated Thelma Ritter.


DON’T BOTHER TO KNOCK
1952, 20th Century Fox, 76 min, USA, Dir: Roy Ward Baker

Marilyn Monroe has perhaps her finest dramatic role in this "one night in the big city" drama. A lovelorn airline pilot (Richard Widmark) hopes to reunite with his chanteuse girlfriend (Anne Bancroft) at a Manhattan hotel. Once jilted, he blithely decides to rebound with a comely babysitter (Monroe) working in the hotel. Uh oh, this babysitter is buggy - not surprising, given that her uncle is played by Elisha Cook Jr.!


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