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DOROTHY MICHAELS STEALS HUGO HASS'S BIZARRE NOIR 'PICKUP'

Beverly Michaels in PICKUP Year: 1951 Rating: ****

There's nothing better than when a bad blonde steals a film noir, and none have been as bad as Beverly Michaels in director/co-star Hugo Haas's PICKUP, a take on THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE centering on Haas as a well-off, rural railroad-station-owning husband of the beautiful dame that a handsome young employee is after...

An aspect/plot that takes second stage to Michaels' non-performance performance, so natural even while practically winking her crooked prowess to the camera while playing mind games with not only husband Haas but young handsome smitten dolt Allan Nixon, who she sums up at one point with: "Never fails... Young, handsome. Broke..."

Beverly Michaels and Hugo Haas in PICKUP

Ironically, Haas's vulnerable Hungarian widower Jan "Hunky" Horak is anything but filthy rich, so the gold-digging premise is a bit thin from the start... the best scenes have Dorothy playfully seducing Haas at a diner (then a carnival) before the inevitable transition into their awful marriage...

Like most classic films, and one of the problems here is, they never seem to have an actual rudimentary-honeymoon phase for it to go comparably downhill, since it's all downhill, so the couple never shifts beyond the inevitable "get rid of my husband for me" POSTMAN story-line...

Beverly Michaels in PICKUP

Hence the second half where a less charming and more bitter Dorothy's Betty starts figuring out ways to collect his pension, from forcing retirement to possibly, murder: but the most creative aspect would be used in Ken Kesey's novel ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST a decade later: Haas had gone deaf, so his wife and young male employee are already used to talking behind his back, right in front of him... 

But he keeps it secret when his hearing miraculously returns, and the audience shares into Haas's dilemma, being verbally cheated by his evil, backstabbing wife that you'll still find yourself rooting for... since Beverly Michaels brilliantly brings such a formidable character down to earth, and, without her villainy, there would be no movie at all.

Beverly Michaels and Hugo Haas in PICKUP
Beverly Michaels and Hugo Haas in PICKUP
Beverly Michaels and Allan Nixon in PICKUP
Beverly Michaels and Howland Chamberlain in PICKUP
Beverly Michaels and Allan Nixon in PICKUP
Beverly Michaels and Allan Nixon in PICKUP
Beverly Michaels with Hugo Haas and Allan Nixon in PICKUP
Beverly Michaels with Hugo Haas in PICKUP
Beverly Michaels and Allan Nixon in PICKUP
Director Hugo Haas in PICKUP
Beverly Michaels in PICKUP
Beverly Michaels in PICKUP
Beverly Michaels and Jo-Carroll Dennison in PICKUP
Beverly Michaels and Jo-Carroll Dennison in PICKUP
Beverly Michaels and Jo-Carroll Dennison in PICKUP
Title Card for PICKUP
Beverly Michaels and Hugo Haas in PICKUP


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