Pity the poor film noir blogger who has to sit through some pretty lousey movies for completeness sake. Hugo Haas’ Pickup is such a film with a silly derivative plot about an alleged gum-chewing femme-fatale trying to get her hands on the savings of a lonely widowed railway worker. The trash equivalent of The Postman Always Rings Twice has the story end with the dame blowing a raspberry and the hero cuddling a puppy. Seriously.
But there is still mileage in such dross for academics and the organisers of film noir retrospectives. Silver and Ward in ‘Film Noir: An Encyclopedic Reference’ talk about the re-assertion of patriarchy in their discussion of the film, and the blurb from the Noir City X has the publicist gushing: “A simple but supremely smarmy slice of sleaze from 1950’s sex-noir auteur Hugo Haas. He plays (as usual) an older man in thrall to a young hottie who spends all her time trying to murder him for what little money he has. A timeless tale, made unforgettable by the Amazon in the bullet-bra, slinging sass for all she’s worth—Beverly (Wicked Woman) Michaels! “
You were warned.