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VICTOR MATURE AND TREVOR HOWARD BATTLE IN 'PICKUP ALLEY'

Poster art for Pickup Alley Year: 1957 Rating: ****

Sometimes those late 1950's anti-drug, jazz-soaked neo noirs feature shaky method actors mimicking shaky legend James Dean, and for a reason... they're coming off heroin... and preachy melodrama ensues. But this British import starring American actor Victor Mature only begins that way... 

What everything narrows down to is Mature, a U.S. drug enforcement agent, going after classy drug-smuggling kingpin Trevor Howard, himself after an eventual load of heroin in a port among various countries, from England to Greece to France, yet this was all filmed in Italy while making terrific use of their iconic Roman ruins...

Each place where the trailing Mature winds up has terrific fist-fights and chase sequences manned skillfully by British director John Gilling. Alec Mango plays Howard's scar-faced thug and is a menacing scene-stealer, but only thinks he's tougher than tough-as-nails Anita Ekberg, who Mature is actually following since she's following Howard. And since the bombshell (wearing too much makeup) really doesn't provide the femme fatale role as advertised, PICKUP ALLEY is really Mature vs Howard, and one of them is desperate, cuts corners and makes shady deals while the villain takes his sweet old time. 

Trevor Howard in PICKUP ALLEY
Victor Mature with an unnamed beauty in PICKUP ALLEY
Victor Mature with an unnamed beauty in PICKUP ALLEY
Dorothy Alison and The Party's Over actor Maurice Browning
Lionel Murton and Victor Mature in PICKUP ALLEY
Anita Ekberg and Alec Mango in PICKUP ALLEY
Victor Mature in PICKUP ALLEY


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