. In PICK UP ON SOUTH STREET, Thelma Ritter, as ‘Mo’, has a terrific scene which she plays brilliantly.
She’s in her small apartment ,sitting on her bed with her glasses on,scribbling in a notebook ,toting up whatever money she has made that day.She looks very tired.
“What are you buying,mister?”, she says.
He throws $100 on the bed sheet ,then $500 to encourage her to disclose the whereabouts of Richard Widmark.
“What’s this guy made of – diamonds?”
Kiley gets angry.
“You’d sell anybody for buttons”.
Thelma keeps talking, almost as if he isn’t there.
“You seen an old clock running down? I’m tired .My back aches,,headaches,I can’t sleep nights.
I have to go on living so I can die.”
‘Mo’ seals her own fate when she reveals she knows why Kiley wants Widmark.
He pulls a gun. She clutches her neck, her lips quiver. In the background is the sound of a crooner’s voice coming from the old record player sitting next to her bed.
“So I don’t get to have a fancy funeral after all.anyway, I tried.
I ‘m so tired you’ll be doing me a big favor if you blow my head off.”
. The camera moves slowly to the left and the record player comes into view. A shot rings out as the record clicks off.
What a great scene, written by Samuel Fuller, and giving Thelma the opportunity to show just how good she was.