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Leonard and Frankenheimer get down and dirty
on 19 March 2006
52 Pick-Up was one of the few rays of light in the dark days when every screen adaptation of an Elmore Leonard novel would go horribly wrong and when John Frankenheimer's name on the credits wasn't exactly a guarantee of quality any more, although it sank quickly due to a botched marketing campaign (the producers decided to play up the good reviews by touting it as `The best film this season from Cannon,' which is a bit like boasting about having the least contagious form of VD). A riff on his earlier Western The Tall T, this sees businessman Roy Scheider set up by a trio of blackmailers who, not taking kindly to him confessing his affair to his wife rather than pay up, murder his girlfriend with his gun so as not to miss out on their payday, only for Scheider to turn them against each other. While it's no Out of Sight, it's an effectively seedy L.A. thriller with a couple of outstanding supporting turns by John Glover and a seriously mucked-up and dangerous Clarence Williams III.
No extras on MGM/UA's original DVD release, but it does have a decent 1.85:1 widescreen transfer. Arrow's UK Blu-ray fares rather better in the extras department, with a critical audio commentary and a 12 minute featurette on the cast while Kino Lorber's Region A-locked US Bluray only includes a trailer..