52 Pick Up (1986) 4/5 (1)


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Rating: The Good – 76.6
Genre: Thriller
Duration: 110 mins
Director: John Frankenheimer
Stars: Roy Scheider, Ann-Margret, Vanity

Like all Elmore Leonard stories, 52 Pick-Up doesn’t play by the rules and the result is an unpredictable yet highly engaging story of a wealthy engineer who is framed and blackmailed by an unlikely gang of depraved criminals. Roy Scheider is terrific in the lead role and he is matched all the way by John Glover’s truly unique bad guy. In fact, if this film received the attention it deserved Glover’s performance would likely be remembered as one of the more entertaining villains. And truth be told, Glover’s henchman, Clarence Williams III’s formidable psychopath, wouldn’t be too far behind him. Ann-Margaret adds solid support as Scheider’s wife and a number of other lesser known actors do equally well to make this movie an outstanding character piece. On the directing front, John Frankenheimer’s handling of the film is impeccable and he is content for the story to play itself out in a relatively unorthodox manner. This makes the film a rewarding watch for those who feel saturated by the typical Hollywood template but, more importantly, it augments the unpredictability making 52 Pick Up a uniquely tense and enjoyable thriller.

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4 thoughts on “52 Pick Up (1986)”

  1. Oh man! It has been such a long time since I’ve seen this movie last. I need to re-visit it soon. I remember the cool story and wonderful cast as well. Roy is one of my favorite actors to watch in just about any genre (huge fan of his role in “Blue Thunder”) Plus add Leonard and Frankenheimer to the mix then you know you are in for a treat. Great write up!

    1. You and I were very much cut from the same cloth Vic! Scheider is one of my all time favourites too. First Carpenter, now Roy, next thing you’ll be telling me Mitchum, Newman, and Lancaster are some of your favourites too 😉

      1. Roy has been in so many films that I like and still enjoy to this day. And I do love Mitchum (Love “Cape Fear” and “El Dorado”) and Newman (Big fan of “The Hustler”) by the way. Lancaster is cool too but I haven’t watched many of his best and classic movies in a long while. I did like Atlantic City very much, though.

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