It's funny, it's tense, it features two great performances from two actors and the director expertly creates a web of odd tension where you actually don't know what is happening for the majority of the run time.
Possibly the worst adaptation and horribly directed movie in the last 50 years with an A list actor. Disgraceful! Roy Scheider was the only one on screen who knew what the hell was going on and the number of porn stars in the film was laughable. It was like watching a train wreck. For some reason, I forced myself to see the end. Save you time and watch anything else.
Adultery, blackmail and revenge are three of the main ingredients of this Elmore Leonard story which starts off fairly routinely but soon becomes thoroughly absorbing because of the ways in which the plot develops. The storyline takes numerous unexpected turns that have the virtue of seeming perfectly natural whilst also whetting the appetite for what's to follow. Add to this an array of exceptionally well-drawn characters and some really snappy dialogue and the end-result is a top class crime thriller that will probably surpass the expectations of most people who see it.Harry Mitchell (Roy Scheider) is a successful businessman whose affair with a much younger dancer turns sour when he goes to her apartment and is held at gunpoint by three masked men who show him a videotape which contains some very graphic evidence of the nature of his relationship with her. His blackmailers demand $105,000 for the tape but Harry recognises that paying won't necessarily stop them from making further demands. He can't report the matter to the police because his wife Barbara (Ann-Margaret) is planning to run for the city council and so he confesses everything to his wife and refuses to pay the ransom.The blackmailers are predictably furious and respond by forcing him to watch another film in which his mistress is shot and killed by his gun (which the gang leader had earlier stolen from his house). Having successfully framed him for his mistress' murder, the blackmailers turn the screw a little bit tighter by demanding regular annual payments which Harry's in no position to pay. The only option left open to him is to take matters into his own hands and the ways in which he takes revenge on his tormentors are both ingenious and enjoyable to watch.Roy Scheider and Ann-Margaret are extremely effective in their roles and the exchanges between them are particularly well-acted. Barbara's suspicions about Harry's extracurricular activities are evident well before he gets blackmailed and the humiliation, anger and pain that she feels are portrayed very powerfully. Harry's a conventional type of guy who finds that his mid-life affair was actually a honey-trap and then uses intelligence as his main weapon in identifying his blackmailers and eliminating the threat that they pose to him.The villains of the piece are a despicable trio of extortionists who all work in different branches of the sex industry. The leader is Alan Raimy (John Glover) who makes porn movies and runs an adult cinema. He's utterly ruthless, incredibly slimy and violates Barbara in a particularly shocking way. Bobby Shy (Clarence Williams 111) is a pimp and a violent psychopath who says very little but is also tremendously threatening and Leo Franks (Robert Trebor) is a whimpering, nervous wreck who runs a strip club and is well out of his depth as a criminal. These characters are all brought to life very convincingly by some great performances that add considerable colour to the whole drama."52 Pick-Up" is tense, sleazy and unpredictable and certainly merits far more recognition than it's ever received to date.
You can't help love this movie. It's a tight thriller about a group of ex cons, some sleazy and repulsive sorts, involved in the pornographic industry of underground sleaze. They too have got this rich businessman right where they've want him. They want him to pay, a lot. At first Harry Mitchell (Roy Schneider) who runs his construction company, doesn't play ball which is a bad mistake, especially on his part, where his now dead hottie, 20 years his minor is killed, where they had taped evidence of his infidelity. Without really going into anymore of this story, 52 Pick Up is a compact thriller with some nice little bits of sleaze amidst. There are great performances, especially from our sleazoids. One being Clarence Williams, the third, as Bobby Shy, who again doesn't disappoint. He's a boyfriend of one of the black dancers, the sizzling Vanity, who looks so hot in lingerie with her assets. You want to take poloroids of her like this, all day. He's part of the blackmailing trio. Like getting a taste of Harry's work, we get to see quite a slice of how our sleazesters live like at parties, boobies here, boobies there. The villains are so well created, the actors giving them justice, John Glover in particular, the head of this set up. You gotta admire Harry's will and defiance, where his wife (Ann Margaret in this kind of movie?) a successful campaigner is running for a political seat, so Harry's not the only one with a lot to lose. And one wonders, which works in the thriller element of the story, if the dead ex girlfriend (Preston) was also involved in the set up which we'll never know. I love the small scenes and locations of sleaze, like in the dirty strips clubs, other dives, porno theatres, one if you can believe is operated by Glover. Too in the sleaze department we have some weird happenings, like Glover making his own pornographic movie, filming two female hotties getting in on, before they're rudely interrupted by a not so happy and betrayed Bobby Shy. Each scene works in a tight and constant chain as the next. Every scene in the movie is necessary, and never bores. There's hardly a scene in this 87' flick I don't hate. Harry Mitchell is a stubbornly persistent guy and in his own way, he will get his own back on Glover, where the vengeful end is slick and priceless, a revenge lovers dream. Whatever your movie pleasure, 52 Pick Up, is different and a smart psychological thriller, where it's generous amount of sleazy bits, almost brings it down, but thankfully it just rises above that.