'Pick-Up': THR's 1933 Review
On March 24, 1933, Paramount and producer B. P. Schulberg unveiled the George Raft and Sylvia Sidney starrer Pick-Up in theaters. The Hollywood Reporter's original review is below.
Pick-Up is a program picture so far above the average that your cash-registers should click a merry tune, even in these sorry times. The picture is packed with down-to-earth speech and sentiment and is of the human interest variety that has been plenty scarce for a long time.
The charm of the film lies for the most part in its simple, straightforward story and the utterly natural and sincere performances of Sylvia Sidney (who has never looked better) and George Raft in the leading roles. Too, Pick-Up moves along at a good pace under the direction of Marion Gering, and though its wind-up is melodramatic, the entire piece is well to the "light" side.
Pick-Up is a twentieth century romance between a taxi-cab driver (Raft) and Sylvia Sidney who, he believes, is a girl of the streets, because he has picked her up and taken her home, just as her funds and her resistance to the weather have given out. Gradually she wins his respect and his love, forcing him to advance himself to a point where he is prospering nicely.
Enter the society girl who makes a big play — and makes him too, with the result that Sylvia walks out. Sylvia has a husband (who was the cause of all her trouble) in prison and he breaks jail with the intention of killing Raft.
To save Raft's life, she goes with her husband and, when they are caught, it is Raft who sells everything he has to save her from a jail term for aiding the escaped man. He finds out also, how much she means to him, and after an exciting court-room scene, in which the husband is tricked into proving the girl's innocence, the lovers are reunited.
The screenplay and dialogue by S.K. Lauren and Agnes Brand Leahy are really something to rave about, and the photography by David Abel is beautiful.
William Harrigan is excellent as the gun-toting husband, Charles Middleton, Robert McWade, Louise Beavers (never forget that gal) and Lilian Bond, O.K. in support.
You should have lots of smiles for this one. Sidney and Raft at their best in a yarn with great general appeal and a swell box office title are a combination that looks dollars to us. — Staff review, originally published on March 13, 1933