|PICKUP (director/writer: Hugo Haas; screenwriters: Arnold Phillips/based on the novel Watchman 47 by Joseph Kopra; cinematographer: Paul Ivano; editor: Donald W. Bagler; music: Harold Byrns; cast: Hugo Haas (Jan 'Hunky' Horak), Beverly Michaels (Betty), Allan Nixon (Steve Kowalski), Howland Chamberlain (The Professor', tramp), Jo-Carroll Dennison (Irma, Betty's friend), Bernard Gorcey (Peddler with Dog), Mark Lowell (Counter-man), Jack Daley (Company Doctor), Art Lewis (Motorist); Runtime: 76; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Hugo Haas; Columbia; 1951)|
the film for its lurid noir-like atmosphere
and the blunt way the loser characters were
by Dennis Schwartz
The forgotten Czech-born movie "renaissance man" Hugo Haas ("The Girl on the Bridge"/"Lizzie"/"Hit and Run"), unfairly more appreciated for his acting than unique directing style, financed his own low-budget movies he directed. This b/w one was released by Columbia. It's based on the novel Watchman 47 by Joseph Kopra, and is written by Arnold Phillips. It involves a chilling drama revolving around a romantic triangle.
middle-aged, frugal, lonely and half-deaf recent
widower, Jan Horak (Hugo Haas), a railroad dispatcher,
marries the blonde zaftig gold-digger floozy Betty (Beverly
Michaels). Soon Betty is bored living with
hubby, and falls for Jan's new assistant, Steve Kowalski
(Allan Nixon), and the lovers
scheme in front of Jan to kill him by Steve pulling a
hit-and-run and thereby to live off the inherited
money Jan salted away for a rainy day. But at the last
minute lover boy swerves the car, as he doesn't have
the guts to go through with the sinister plan. Jan
when knocked down somehow regained his hearing, but
fails to tell his wife. I guess the restored hearing
also cleared up his vision, as he now hears his
assistant and wife chatting and recognizes he's been
cuckolded. The result is that he tosses Betty out.
the film for its lurid noir-like atmosphere and the
blunt way the loser characters were portrayed.
REVIEWED ON 9/13/2014 GRADE: B
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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