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52 Pick-Up

4.2 out of 5 stars 129 customer reviews

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52 Pick-Up

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

No Description Available.
Genre: Feature Film-Action/Adventure
Rating: R
Release Date: 12-JUN-2007
Media Type: DVD

Amazon.com

Adapting Elmore Leonard's novels for the big screen has often proved to be a hit-or-miss proposition (Get Shorty and Jackie Brown are notable exceptions), but director John Frankenheimer is mostly on the mark with 52 Pick-Up. Leonard also co-wrote the screenplay, which stars Roy Scheider as Harry Mitchell, a businessman whose life is turned upside down when he's videotaped in flagrante delicto with his very young mistress (Kelly Preston); he's then approached by three bad guys (John Glover as vile ringleader Alan, Clarence Williams III as menacing gunman Bobby, and Robert Trebor as sweaty, nebbishy Leo), who demand big bucks from Harry in return for the tape. That's the plan, anyway. But Harry fights back. He confesses all to his long-suffering wife (Ann-Margret, fine in an underwritten part) and refuses to go the cops in order to protect her burgeoning political career; he's also unwilling to hand over the money, choosing instead to take on the villains, whose own mistrust of one another makes Harry's mission easier. All the elements one might expect are on display (including kidnapping, murder, and blackmail), coated with a patina of sleaze that features ample nudity (the bad guys also happen to be pornographers), profanity, and fairly graphic violence. Still, for all its arch tone, pithy dialogue, and a plot twist here and there, 52 Pick-Up lacks the full measure of subtlety, tension, and excitement that would make it really good, instead of merely serviceable. The DVD includes no bonus material. --Sam Graham

Special Features

  • Disc 1 Side A: Widescreen Feature Film
  • Disc 1 Side B: Full Screen Feature Film

Product Details

  • Actors: Roy Scheider, Ann-Margret, Vanity, John Glover, Robert Trebor
  • Directors: John Frankenheimer
  • Writers: Elmore Leonard, John Steppling
  • Producers: Henry T. Weinstein, Menahem Golan, Yoram Globus
  • Format: Color, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: June 12, 2007
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (129 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000OPOAPC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #124,250 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "52 Pick-Up" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By G. Mitchell on August 10, 2005
Format: VHS Tape
I saw this in the theaters when it first came out in the 80s, not expecting much, but then - BAM! - this nasty little gem of a thriller delivers thrills in spades. JOHN GLOVER creates one of the most chilling, yet hilarious, villains in film history - and the film's most infamous sequence - the videotape replay of Cindy's snuff-movie murder that Glover forces Scheider to watch in horror SITTING THE SAME CHAIR WHERE SHE WAS KILLED! - still never fails to disturb the viewer. Frankenheimer directs how the best do: so seamless and suble and unobtrusive, you never notice him tightening the screws right up until a white-knuckle climax. I cannot quite believe this film is still NOT ON DVD, even though the shelves are crammed with lesser product. C'mon, guys, get with it! Once you see 52 PICK-UP, you will never forget it.
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Format: DVD
52 pick up is a tightly woven film noir that builds the suspense right from the outset. Harry and Barbara
Mitchell (Roy Scheider and Ann Margret) play an upscale professional couple in their mid fifties. Harry owns a steel manufacturing business while Barbara is an environmental oversight board chairman with political connections. As the film begins Harry is sandbagged by three individuals who entrap him with a video showing
him in an extramarital affair with a young woman named Cinny. (Kelly Preston) As the blackmail scenario
unfolds. Harry is ordered to pay a large sum of money by the ringleader of the trio. Alan Raimey (John Glover)
with sidekicks Leo Franks (Robert Trebor) and Bobby Shy. (Clarence Williams III) After informing his lawyer
Jim O'Boyle, (Lonny Chapman) Harry decides not to be intimidated and dismiss the trio as folly. As the story moves along Harry and Barbara develop a determination to deal with the trio. As in the tradition of original film noir Harry and Barbara are trapped in a Catch 22 scenario with the lowly trio. Frankenheimer builds up the intensity and gets excellent performances from the entire cast.
John Glover is superb as the homoerotic protagonist Alan Raimey as well as Robert Trebor and Clarence
Williams III as the other two components of the trio. Alan's psychosis becomes a fulcrum for destruction.
Meanwhile Bobby Shy's girlfriend Doreen (Vanity) cuts both sides of the fence with equal disdain for Harry and Bobby while concealing the triangle that has developed between Harry, Cinny, and herself. The scenes are fastmoving with crisp and candid dialogue. Frankenheimer holds nothing back with realism and taut direction. This film takes one on an emotional rollercoaster with no gimmicks from start to finish.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Roy Scheider is a successful businessman who is being blackmailed for cheating on his wife. He decides not to pay and to tell his wife. The blackmailers don't accept his no and frame him for murder, intending to milk him for the rest of his life. Scheider does some investigating and finds out the identities of his blackmailers, who he tries to turn against one another. John Glover and Clarence Williams (Mod Squad) are outstanding as two violent members of the threesome blackmailers!!
For its time this movie was considered by some to be overly violent. Siskel & Ebert both mention this in their reviews, with Siskel not recommending it because of the violence (but said he would have recommended it otherwise) and Ebert recommending it despite the violence. While it does have some violent scenes, by today's standards they don't stand out as they did 30 years ago. I thought this was an excellent modern day noirish thriller! HIGHLY recommended for fans of this genre!!
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Format: DVD
When it comes to this 1980s production of Elmore Leonard's original novel I am very much on the same page with the late film critic Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times. His positive comments a real reinforcer for a good thriller based film. For me this is a well-crafted movie by a man who knows how to hook the audience with his story. What really sells this movie is John Glover who plays his villainous role with shear relish and to quote Mr Ebert `provides us with the best, most reprehensible villain of the year and uses his vile charm as the starting point'. If anything sells this film short is the fact that it was in anyway handled by the Cannon Group, a low brow company that focused its efforts on low -budget films and had heavy interests in the Video (VHS) market - to which this film was regulated far too quickly.

This is a pretty good film, but I believe sold short by those that had a vested interest in promoting to it best - a film for those who like a good thriller with a twist, as well those who want to see Elmore Leonard's book mirrored reasonably closely into the moving image.
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Format: Blu-ray
Although "52 Pick-Up" isn't John Frankenheimer's best thriller, it's a solid adaptation of Elmore Leonard's novel. Roy Scheider plays Harry Mitchell who finds himself being blackmailed over an affair he had. This being an Elmore Leonard script (Leonard co-wrote the screenplay), Mitchell refuses to pay up which leads to violence and some unexpected twists for the bad guys (including a young John Glover in a fun, scenery chewing performance)that they didn't expect.

"52 Pick-Up" was largely overlooked by audiences back in the 80's and MGM did the film no favors by not doing a very good job of advertising the film. Frankenheimer's direction is top notch and he wrings every bit of Leonard's style out of the screenplay.

The cast does a terrific job as well although Ann Margaret is largely wasted as Barbara Mitchell the wife of our hero.

The blu-ray from Kino is, at best, a mediocre transfer. The film has some speckles throughout although the transfer is clean and without any noticeable damage. It's a bit disappointing and not a large step up from the DVD (hence the 3 vs. 4 star rating for the film). The original mono soundtrack sounds fine with dialog clear and subtitles in English available. The film could have benefited from a new 5.1 mix of the sound track although I'm not sure if this is due to lack of effort (my guess) or the fact that the original multi-tracks are missing.

We get the theatrical trailer but nothing notable in the way of special features.It wouldn't have hurt Kino put a bit of extra effort into this release. Heck, when Shout Factory licenses these films they take the transfers that are given to them but do make up for that lack of effort by putting some nice special features on their blu-rays.
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