Pickup On South Street appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.37:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. This became a mostly pleasing presentation.
For the most part, sharpness worked fine. Wider shots tended to feel a bit tentative, and some light edge haloes added to that, but for SD-DVD, definition usually seemed appropriate.
Jagged edges and shimmering caused only minor concerns. Print flaws displayed occasional specks and marks but nothing major.
Blacks looked deep and firm. Shadows were smooth and clean, while contrast seemed fairly strong. Overall, this turned into a mostly positive image.
As for the Dolby Digital monaural audio of Pickup, it worked fine for its age. Speech always seemed concise and natural, with no edginess or other distractions.
Music lacked much range but came across as clean and acceptably bold. Effects showed decent heft and also boasted nice clarity, as the track came essentially free from defects. This was a perfectly solid little mix for a movie from 1953.
As we shift to extras, Sam Fuller on Pickup on South Street runs 19 minutes, three seconds. As expected, it brings notes from writer/director Fuller.
He discusses how he perceives the role of the director as well as aspects of Pickup. This never becomes the most insightful piece, but Fuller offers a mix of decent notes.
Cinema Cinemas brings a French TV segment from 1982 that goes for 11 minutes, three seconds. It gives us more thoughts about the creation of Pickup. This piece adds to what we learn from the prior reel.
Next comes Headlines and Hollywood, a text essay from film curator Jeb Brody. “Headlines” offers a biography of Fuller.
The essay mixes text with photos and archival materials. It adds up to a nice overview of Fuller’s life and career.
More text appears under Recollections from Richard Widmark. Here the actor relays notes about his time on Pickup. It seems brief but informative.
Under trailers, we find an ad for Pickup. We also get promos for seven other Fuller films. Note that 1954’s Hell and High Water comes with two trailers.
The disc finishes with Stills and Posters. We find “Stills” (64 images), “Fuller Poster Filmography” (125) and “Illustrations by Russell Christian” (9). This gives us a nice compilation.
Though aspects of its political themes don’t really fly, Pickup On South Street offers enough noir bite to work. With a good cast and a brisk pace, the movie keeps us entertained. The DVD brings adequate picture and audio as well as a handful of bonus materials. Even with some minor flaws, Pickup does pretty well for itself.