Cast & Crew
Jo Carroll Dennison
In a small desert town, a hobo, who is called the Professor because of his proclivity for poetry, visits his friend, Jan "Hunky" Horack, a middle-aged widower and railroad dispatcher who lives in a tiny house by the tracks. Jan confesses he is lonely as his dog recently was run over. After the new dispatch assistant, Steve Kowalski, arrives, Jan takes the Professor's advice and goes into town. There, at a small carnival, Jan looks for a new puppy but instead spots a leggy blonde, Betty, who believing Jan wealthy, makes a bet with her friend Irma that she can get a free meal out of him. Betty soon charms Jan and they spend the day together at the carnival. While sitting listening to a jukebox, Jan's hearing abruptly fades for several moments. Disturbed, he departs hastily. The following weekend Jan offers to drive Betty to his place for coffee. Although hung-over, Betty accepts, but is dismayed by Jan's modest home. While Jan makes coffee, Betty snoops through his effects and discovers that his bank book listing $7,300 in savings. She asks Jan when he will retire, but to her disappointment he says six years. Jan is appalled when Betty bluntly asks why he does not feign illness to gain early retirement. Steve then stops by to check the dispatches and Betty asks him to drive her back to town. That evening Betty discovers she and Irma have been evicted. Desperate, Betty realizes she has only one option and marries Jan. Soon, however, Betty grows bored with her uneventful life as Mrs. Horack, despite her husband's kindness. One day, Jan convinces Betty to come along on his track inspection, and they pause on the edge of a steep cliff. When she asks Jan to retire early so they can enjoy his money, he angrily refuses and she returns home without him. Jan suddenly feels dizzy and within moments he realizes he is completely deaf. That evening, as a doctor examines Jan, Steve returns from his remote inspections and is startled to find that Betty has married Jan. The doctor explains that Jan's hearing loss is psychosomatic, but Betty does not comprehend. A few days later, while crossing a street in town, Jan is knocked down by a car, and when he regains consciousness his hearing has returned. Initially enthusiastic, Jan recalls his wife's early retirement plea and decides to lie to the company. When he arrives home, Betty is asleep and later, before Jan can speak with her, Steve stops by. Jan listens, stunned as Betty flirts openly with Steve and confesses that she intends to leave Jan as soon as he gets his money. The next day Steve tells Betty that according to a lawyer friend of his, she cannot obtain a divorce and the only way she will get Jan's money is in the event of his death. Betty then confides that Jan beats her. Later, Jan writes a note to the railroad company admitting that he lied about being deaf. That night Betty goes to Steve's small hut near the house and claims Jan has just beaten her. She implores him to help her and suggests that when the two men inspect the tracks the next day, Steve push Jan off the cliff. The next morning Jan lets the Professor know his hearing is restored and asks him to deliver the letter to the company. Jan and Steve go on the inspection but at the cliff Steve cannot bring himself to harm Jan. Betty is furious when the two men return and leaves for a night on the town. Steve and Jan sit drinking into the early morning hours. When Betty finally returns, she starts packing her bag and Steve reacts violently. Jan listens while Steve attacks Betty in her room and finally comes to her rescue. Steve and Betty are shocked that Jan can hear and as Steve turns on Jan, Betty leaves the house. The Professor then returns, interrupting the fight, and gives Jan the news that the company will forgive him. As Steve departs angrily, the Professor presents Jan with a puppy.
Jo Carroll Dennison
Douglas W. Bagier
John R. Carter
Los Angeles Chamber Symphony Orchestra
Edgar E. Walden
The order of the opening and closing credits were slightly different. According to a Hollywood Reporter news item, Edgar E. Walden was added to the credits as co-producer nearly a month after the initial release of Pickup, in August 1951.