Another Winner By The Great John Frankenheimer (by ed56)
Based on Elmore Leonard, this is a violent and intelligent action film. The story: a business man is blackmailed by some 3 criminals. Roy Schieder does great job as the leading character and special credit's got to go to John Glover who plays sort of a naughty psychopath. I must mention that the villains characters are very complex and interesting - something that is very rare for an action film. also features some beautiful and sexy women - most notable are Kelly Preston as the young bate for Schieder's character. Vanity gives a very good performance and appearance as the hooker who <more>
is connected with the three blackmailers. I'm glad to say that Ann-Margaret still hasn't lost it - this lady is a true babe. Don't look at the rate of this film. I really don't know what the public and some critics have against this film but my suggestion is to ignore them and watch this truly gripping and under-rated film. You will enjoy it, that's a promise. Recommended A+.
Elmore Leonard fans should NOT miss this one... (by Murph-15)
This is a great "small" film. I say "small" because it doesn't have a hundred guns firing or a dozen explosions, as in a John Woo film. Great performances by Roy Scheider and the three "bad guys". John Frankenheimer seems to have more luck with small productions these days. The film is very easy to watch, the story is more of a yarn than a washing machine--instead of everything going around and around, it seems as though things just get worse as the plot thickens. Wonderful ending, very positive. I never read the Elmore Leonard book, but it can't be much <more>
different from the film because it FEELS like I'm watching an Elmore Leonard movie.
Just saw this film and was extremely impressed for a film from 1986. The only thing irritating was the way the bad guy called our hero "sport" all the time, and his wife "slim." However, that criticism aside, what a great film. They don't make them like this anymore. Loved the Kelly Presten scene to. Total snuff.Some great performances throughout and especially Roy Schieder. I love his ability to dissolve into his roles. Fanatastic actor and I think this was his last great role. One more gripe: it would be great to re-do the soundtrack with a modern composer though, as <more>
Something about your face makes me want to slap the sh*t out of it! (by TOMASBBloodhound)
Spoilers!From the very moment I saw a local film critic trash this movie in a review on the 10:00 news, I wanted to see it. I don't remember who it was, or which local Omaha newscast carried the review, but the critic was very insistent that this film was way too sleazy for the average church-going Nebraskan. They showed a snippet from the scene where John Glover is about to kidnap Ann-Margret when she's swimming in the pool. Glover's character is commending her on how nice her body is and so forth, using many words that the local station felt necessary to edit out. I was hooked. <more>
There was one problem, though. I was only 13 years old at the time, and I had to wait a year until it came out on cable. Let's just say, it was worth the wait!If ever there was a guilty pleasure of mine, this movie is it. To call this film sleazy would be a huge understatement. The film centers around a successful businessman who is blackmailed by three small time scumbags after an affair with a young woman. Roy Scheider, who is as effective as ever, plays the poor guy who just wanted a little fling and now finds himself at the mercy of three terrific villains. John Glover's character is one of the most memorable scumbags of all time. He's sleazy, funny at times, and always on the brink of doing something crazy. Then there's Robert Trebor's nice name, by the way! character Leo who is clearly in over his head with this blackmail scheme. He is a whimpering, sweating, coward who runs a peep show place with live nude models. Then, you have Clarence Williams III as Bobby Shy, a brooding sociopath who everyone is afraid of with good reason. Who could forget the wake-up call he gives Vanity with the giant teddy bear?After dealing with the initial shock of realizing what he's up against, Scheider turns the tables on these creeps and takes control of the situation, that is until Glover goes after his wife! The conflict is played out brutally, with virtually the entire cast getting shot, raped, or blown up. I don't know why I love this movie so much. It really should creep me out, but it doesn't. Maybe it's because these characters are all interesting, and the story takes plenty of chances that most films today would never try. It's scary to think that the adult film industry probably has more than a few characters like Glover's running around out in L.A. looking for trouble. Just thinking about his voice is enough to make me chuckle. "Hey sport, have a nice day!"This film has plenty of shootouts, cool cars, great dialog like the line in my opening statement , and decent acting. Plenty of cameos by real life porno stars. Look for Ron Jeremy frolicking around in a hot tub with two chicks in a party scene at Glover's place. Another thing I must add: How hot are the women in this film??? Wow! Travolta did right by marrying Kelly Preston. Yum! We also see Vanity get nude in a time before she became a born again Christian. And Ann-Margret. What else could you say about her except that she is the quintessential American Beauty. 9 of 10 stars.So sayeth the Hound.Added Feb 14, 2008: RIP Roy Scheider!
Questioning your masculinity? Let this movie be your litmus test (by mickeyshamrock)
This slick and gritty film consistently delivers. It's one of Frankenheimer's best and most underrated films and it's easily the best Elmore Leonard adaptation to date and if you are scratching your head thinking "but I loved GET SHORTY" you need to be punched in the face . In my opinion, no one captures the "feel" for Leonard's characters better then John Glover in 52 PICK-UP. The relocation of the story from Detroit novel to Hollywood film elevates the story's sleaze factor to amazing heights. Be a man, have a few beers and watch this movie. For <more>
reference purposes my favorite Leonard books are: Swag, Rum Punch, Cat Chaser, City Primeval, and 52 Pick-Up. My favorite Frankenheimer films include SECONDS and THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE. I also have a real special place in my cold, movie heart for DEAD BANG and BLACK Sunday.
Having just seen this film again recently, I recalled how much I had enjoyed it when originally released.It has all the edge and quality of plot and characters one expects from Elmore Leonard stories. And the characters, performances are all believable, realistic - with a lot of the chilling aspects required by the plot, but none are gratuitous or exaggerated beyond what would be logically expected.Roy Scheider is more anti-hero than a one-dimensional heroic character, and John Glover is superb as the main villain, and carries-off the tough assignment of being both charming and menacing - <more>
sometimes separately, and sometimes simultaneously, a tough assignment for any actor.The remaining cast, including Ann-Margret, Clarence Williams III and Kelly Prestin are excellent, as well.The ending does not disappoint, and the the whole presentation combines the techniques available when made with a total feel like one of the "noir" genre of the 30's and 40's.
52-Pick Up never got the respect it should have. It works on many levels, and has a complicated but followable plot. The actors involved give some of their finest performances. Ann-Margret, Roy Scheider, and John Glover are perfectly cast and provide deep character portrayals. Notable too are Vanity, who should have parlayed this into a serious acting career given the unexpected ability she shows, and Kelly Preston, who's character will haunt you for a few days. Anyone who likes action combined with a gritty complicated story will enjoy this.
Our marriage has lasted 23 years. That's longer than she's been alive! (by Spikeopath)
52 Pick-Up is directed by John Frankenheimer and written by Elmore Leonard adapting from his own novel and John Steppling. It stars Roy Scheider, Ann-Margret, John Glover, Vanity, Clarence Williams III, Robert Trebor and Kelly Preston. Music is by Gary Chang and cinematography by Jost Vacano and Stephen Ramsey. Successful business entrepreneur Harry Mitchell Scheider finds himself the victim of blackmail by three pornographers who have video evidence of his extramarital affair. With his wife about to embark on a new stage of her political career, the last thing Harry needs is a scandal, <more>
but when things take a turn for the worse Harry decides to use unorthodox methods to deal with the blackmailers. A nifty neo-noir this, certainly deserving of being better known in neo- noir circles. The presence of Leonard at the writing table ensures that the story doesn't drift too far away from his own source material, though location is moved to L.A. as opposed to the Detroit of the novel. Thematic thrust centres around Mitchell being caught for his indiscretions and what the consequences of his actions means for all around him, quite often with devastating results. Mitchell has to move about a seedy world of pornography, of cheap peekaboo bars, strip joints and snuff movies, he has to get to the level of his blackmailers so as to enact his plans with conviction. The three weasels played by Glover, Williams and Trebor are in turn slimy, menacing and a twitchy neurotic, an off-beat trio suitably framed by Frankenheimer's sleazy and cold world. It may not be prime Frankenheimer but the director knows his noir onions, both in performances garnered from his strong cast and via his visual ticks. Characters are more often than not smoking or drinking liquor, sweating or looking pained as the camera gets up close and personal, the director even finds place for a bit of slatted shadow play in one sequence and menacing angled shards for another. Some contrivances are more annoying than hindrances, it's a bit bloodless for a picture not lacking in action scenes, and although the finale is signposted without due care and attention, it is still sufficiently rewarding. Decadence, sleaze, greed, paranoia and moral decay come crashing together to create a sadly neglected piece of 1980s neo-noir. A yuppie revenger where there are no heroes, just sinners and victims. 7.5/10
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 <more>
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.