Pickup 1951

Pickup 1951

The Plot:

Low-budget, tabloid-lurid story with high camp value of older man falling for much younger beauty who’s busy figuring out how she can kill him now that they’re married. Nasty verbal encounters and above all, Beverly Michaels, spike up this flick.

Or, try this one on for size:

Jan Horak is a middle-aged railroad dispatcher stationed at a forsaken spot in the desert, within driving distance of the nearest town. A widower, he has saved his money and goes to town to buy a dog, meets Betty, a flashy blonde who gains his confidence and marries him for the purpose of acquiring his $7,000 “fortune.” Jan suffers a loss of hearing brought on by psychosomatic reasons, as it is explained later, but listening to Betty is more than enough to deafen any man.

While he is incapacitated, Steve, is sent to substitute for him and Betty soon makes sure that the railroad job description is broadened to include her. ‘Tain’t long before Betty and Steve are plotting Jan’s death and there isn’t a postman in sight beyond plot swipes. As usual, in Hugh Haas films, fate, irony and eventful circumstances always come into play and this time it is the form of an automobile accident that knocks Jan down but does not injure him.

But, as a result, Jan regains his hearing. He does not bother to inform Betty and Steve of this and is soon listening—good sportsmanship be hanged—to their conversations as they plot his death. Some more business happens before the end that wouldn’t have happened if Jan had just stayed with his original mission and bought a dog from Bernard Gorcey back in the first reel. This might not be the best film noir ever made, but you can’t beat the price of admission. Enjoy and share as you please.