Pickup Alley (1957)

91-92 mins | Drama | August 1957

Director:

John Gilling

Writer:

John Paxton

Cinematographer:

Ted Moore

Editor:

Richard Best

Production Designer:

Paul Sheriff

Production Company:

Warwick Film Productions, Ltd.
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HISTORY

The working titles of this film were Interpol , Half Past Hell and The Most Wanted Woman . The DV review states that the film opens with a foreword in which Sir Ronald Howe, a former British chief of Interpol, explains the operation of the service as "the longest arm of the law." That foreword was missing from the viewed print. The opening and closing cast credits differ slightly in order. Although a Nov 1955 DV news item notes that Percy Hoskins, a London Daily Express crime reporter, was to write the script, his contribution to the released film has not been determined. According to a Mar 1956 LAT news item, Michael Wilding was considered for a starring role. HR news items add that location shooting was done in Rome and Genoa Italy; Athens, Greece; Lisbon, Portugal and Paris, France. Interiors were filmed at London's Elstree Studios, according to an Aug 1957 HR news item. According to a Mar 1957 HR news item, at the behest of the PCA, the word "dope" was cut from an ad for the ... More Less

The working titles of this film were Interpol , Half Past Hell and The Most Wanted Woman . The DV review states that the film opens with a foreword in which Sir Ronald Howe, a former British chief of Interpol, explains the operation of the service as "the longest arm of the law." That foreword was missing from the viewed print. The opening and closing cast credits differ slightly in order. Although a Nov 1955 DV news item notes that Percy Hoskins, a London Daily Express crime reporter, was to write the script, his contribution to the released film has not been determined. According to a Mar 1956 LAT news item, Michael Wilding was considered for a starring role. HR news items add that location shooting was done in Rome and Genoa Italy; Athens, Greece; Lisbon, Portugal and Paris, France. Interiors were filmed at London's Elstree Studios, according to an Aug 1957 HR news item. According to a Mar 1957 HR news item, at the behest of the PCA, the word "dope" was cut from an ad for the film. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
3 Aug 1957.
---
Daily Variety
16 Nov 1955.
---
Daily Variety
8 Apr 57
p. 3.
Film Daily
13 Aug 57
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Aug 1956
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Aug 1956
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Mar 1957
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
31 Jul 57
p. 3.
Los Angeles Times
24 Mar 1956.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
3 Aug 57
p. 473.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
2d unit dir
Asst dir
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
2d unit photog
Cam op
Cam op
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Asst art dir
Asst art dir
FILM EDITOR
COSTUMES
Ward supv
MUSIC
Mus comp
Played by
SOUND
Sd rec
Sd ed
Sd ed
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Hairdresser
PRODUCTION MISC
Cont
Location mgr
Casting
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Interpol by A. J. Forrest (London, 1955).
AUTHOR
SONGS
"Anyone for Love," music by Lester Lee, lyrics by Ned Washington, sung by Yana.
PERFORMER
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Interpol
Half Past Hell
The Most Wanted Woman
Release Date:
August 1957
Production Date:
15 August--13 November 1956
Copyright Claimant:
Warwick Productions, Ltd.
Copyright Date:
1 August 1957
Copyright Number:
LP9070
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound Recording
Black and White
Widescreen/ratio
CinemaScope
Duration(in mins):
91-92
Length(in reels):
11
Countries:
United Kingdom, United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In New York, a woman urgently phones the narcotics division of the FBI to notify her brother, agent Charles Sturgis, that she has found the man for whom they have been looking. As she speaks, someone slips into the room and strangles her. When Charles goes to identify his sister’s body, he finds her clutching a book of matches from the Bear Den bar. At the Bear Den, Charles follows a drug-addicted waitress as she sneaks out the back door for a fix. After snatching a hypodermic from her hands, Charles takes her to headquarters for questioning. There Charles vents his frustration over being unable to apprehend Frank McNally, the mysterious head of an international drug ring. When word comes from the Interpol bureau in London that Salko, McNally’s accomplice, has been spotted in London, Charles flies there to find him. At New Scotland Yard, an Interpol inspector explains that they have no description or picture of McNally, as he changes his appearance at whim. At Salko’s apartment, meanwhile, Gina Borger, McNally’s drug courier, comes to deliver a satchel to Salko. When Salko sexually accosts her, Gina pulls a pistol from her coat, shoots him and flees. Soon after, Charles, accompanied by Interpol officers, arrives at the apartment and although they find a pool of blood on the rug, Salko is missing. In another part of London, Gina begs McNally to release her as his courier. Implying that he will turn her in for Salko’s murder unless she cooperates with him, McNally instructs her to pick up a package in Lisbon and deliver it to him in Rome. ... +


In New York, a woman urgently phones the narcotics division of the FBI to notify her brother, agent Charles Sturgis, that she has found the man for whom they have been looking. As she speaks, someone slips into the room and strangles her. When Charles goes to identify his sister’s body, he finds her clutching a book of matches from the Bear Den bar. At the Bear Den, Charles follows a drug-addicted waitress as she sneaks out the back door for a fix. After snatching a hypodermic from her hands, Charles takes her to headquarters for questioning. There Charles vents his frustration over being unable to apprehend Frank McNally, the mysterious head of an international drug ring. When word comes from the Interpol bureau in London that Salko, McNally’s accomplice, has been spotted in London, Charles flies there to find him. At New Scotland Yard, an Interpol inspector explains that they have no description or picture of McNally, as he changes his appearance at whim. At Salko’s apartment, meanwhile, Gina Borger, McNally’s drug courier, comes to deliver a satchel to Salko. When Salko sexually accosts her, Gina pulls a pistol from her coat, shoots him and flees. Soon after, Charles, accompanied by Interpol officers, arrives at the apartment and although they find a pool of blood on the rug, Salko is missing. In another part of London, Gina begs McNally to release her as his courier. Implying that he will turn her in for Salko’s murder unless she cooperates with him, McNally instructs her to pick up a package in Lisbon and deliver it to him in Rome. After Interpol identifies a set of fingerprints found at the crime scene as belonging to Gina, her picture is distributed to international customs agents. Upon landing in Lisbon, she is recognized by an agent who notifies Interpol. Charles then flies to Lisbon to find her. When Gina goes to a luggage shop to pick up a shipment of drugs, the proprietor notices that she is being followed and phones his contact in Rome to apprise McNally of the situation. In Rome, meanwhile, McNally strikes a bargain with Baris, the corrupt captain of a cargo ship, to transport the drugs across the sea. When Gina arrives in Rome, McNally warns her that she is being followed and directs her to meet him at the Catacombs the next day. Charles trails her there, and as they descend into the Catacombs, McNally emerges from the shadows, pulls her aside and instructs her to travel to Athens in a few days. After Gina slips out, Charles notices that she is gone and is about to go after her when one of McNally thugs sneaks up behind him, ready to plunge a knife into his back. Just then, a startled tourist trips and lets out a shriek, alerting Charles, who dodges the attack and runs out of the Catacombs. On the steps outside, Charles is approached by Amalio, a street hawker from New York, who offers to sell him information about McNally. Later that night, Amalio calls Charles and informs him that McNally underwent plastic surgery in Tangier. After hailing a cab, Amalio takes Charles to a hotel and directs him to a room on the third floor, where he finds Gina. Charles warns her that she is in grave trouble and asks her to help him find McNally. Just then, McNally’s thugs burst in and knock Charles unconscious. Awakening in a cell, Charles is taken to Capt. Varolli, the head of the police department, who accuses him of acting like a lone vigilante and insists that he cooperate with the authorities in his hunt for McNally. Varolli then informs Charles that Gina flew to Athens that morning and that the Greek police have arrested Fayala, an accomplice of McNally’s. Charles then tells Amalio that he is leaving for Athens to question Fayala. In Athens, Salko, wounded but still alive, is held captive by McNally. Fayala, meanwhile, has been coerced by the police to lead Charles and the others to McNally’s hideout, but as they approach the vicinity, one of McNally’s thugs shoots Fayala in the back. Alerted by the sound of gunfire, McNally strangles Salko and flees across the rooftops, eluding the police. Armed with new information about Gina, Amalio flies to Athens and tells Charles where he can find her. When one of McNally’s henchmen sees the police come to arrest Gina, he hurries to telephone McNally. Amalio follows him and eavesdrops on the phone conversation. Amalio then phones Charles at Interpol headquarters and, after telling him that McNally ordered his henchmen to rent a van, provides him with its license plate number. Charles tracks the van to the docks, and after shooting the driver in an exchange of gunfire, finds a note addressed to Baris on the dead man’s body. Upon learning that Baris’ ship has just sailed for New York, Charles notifies New York customs officials to watch for the ship. Charles, with Gina in tow, then flies back to New York, and McNally arrives shortly thereafter. When a thorough search of the ship fails to turn up any drugs, Charles is bitterly disappointed. After the police leave, McNally, disguised as a longshoreman, uses a blowtorch to dismantle Baris’ refrigerator in which the drugs are concealed. After cramming the drugs into two suitcases, McNally directs one of his henchmen to carry them off the ship and load them onto a truck. After McNally snatches the cases from the truck, Charles chases him into a warehouse. As they wend their way through the cavernous structure, a watchman orders Charles to stop and shoots him. When McNally leaps from a window onto a pallet being hoisted onto a ship, Charles shoots him, sending McNally falling to his death. At FBI headquarters in New York, Gina identifies McNally’s body, bringing the case to a close. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.