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The Devil Thumbs a Ride (1947)

6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 510 users  
Reviews: 26 user | 8 critic

Law-abiding Jimmy Ferguson soon regrets giving a ride to killer Steve Morgan.

Director:

(as Felix Feist)

Writers:

(novel),
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Title: The Devil Thumbs a Ride (1947)

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Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Steve Morgan
Ted North ...
Jimmy 'Fergie' Ferguson
Nan Leslie ...
Beulah Zorn, alias Carol Demming
Betty Lawford ...
Agnes Smith
Andrew Tombes ...
Joe Brayden, Night Watchman
Harry Shannon ...
Detective Owens, San Diego Police
Glen Vernon ...
Jack Kenny, Gas Station Attendant
Marian Carr ...
Diane Ferguson
William Gould ...
Police Capt. Martin, San Diego Police
Josephine Whittell ...
Diane's mother
Phil Warren ...
Pete, Roadblock Motorcycle Cop
Robert Malcolm ...
Deputy Sheriff Grover
Edit

Storyline

Steve Morgan kills a man in a holdup and hitches a ride to Los Angeles with Fergie. At a gas station, they pick up two women. Encountering a roadblock, Morgan takes over and persuades the party to spend the night at an unoccupied beach house. The police close in as one by one, the others learn that Morgan is a killer. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

NOT EVEN HER KISSES COULD HALT HIS FURY...when his evil brain cried "KILL!" See more »

Genres:

Film-Noir | Drama

Certificate:

Approved
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 February 1947 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Morte Misteriosa  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(TCM print)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Connections

Featured in Los Angeles Plays Itself (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Brutal
31 July 2005 | by (NY, NY) – See all my reviews

Laurence Tierney seems to have been born to play this role. He is sinister, amoral, nasty. It's beautifully filmed and superbly directed, though it has a raw feel.

Tiernry is the title character. A devil he surely is. He gets the poor dope who picks him up a very hard time. The two women they then give rides to fare even less well.

Betty Lawford is perfect as the tough, over-the-hill floozy of those two. She is always looking for a deal for herself -- silk stockings, salvation... We like her, though, and feel that we may have encountered her or her like behind countless counters.

We feel bad for the gas station attendant when Tierney says cruel things about the picture of his young daughter. There is no doubt: Tierney's character is a dreadful person. But the gas station attendant is a pain himself. He's an annoying know-it-all.

The police are not portrayed in a very favorable light, either. So who do we actually like? Maybe the younger of the two hitchhikers, Beulah. Her older pal, though we surely do not admire her. The watchman Tierney cruelly gets drunk? Not really.

It's a slice of life cut with a hatchet and the slice is not pretty no matter what angle we look at it from.


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