Sam Hamm on

Pickup on South Street

Released 1953
Distributor 20th Century Fox

FBI director J Edgar Hoover personally told director Sam Fuller how much he hated his films, especially this one, in which pickpocket Richard Widmark exhibits no particular patriotism while dealing with vicious Communist spies. Nevertheless his brutal noir classic has survived to become one of the director’s most revered films. Fox contractee Thelma Ritter was nominated as best supporting actress for the role of a lifetime, which she should have won.

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About Sam Hamm

Failed cartoonist Sam Hamm turned to screenwriting when he realized he would never be able to draw like Alex Toth. His feature credits include Never Cry Wolf, Batman, Batman Returns, and Monkeybone. Hamm also created the short-lived television series M.A.N.T.I.S. in collaboration with Sam Raimi. Most recently, he has written two episodes of the cable series Masters of Horror for director Joe Dante: Homecoming (for which he won a Best Screenplay award at the Sitges International Film Festival) and The Screwfly Solution.