The Devil Thumbs a Ride (1947)

Approved  |   |  Film-Noir, Drama  |  20 February 1947 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 540 users  
Reviews: 27 user | 9 critic

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


(as Felix Feist)


(novel), (as Felix Feist)
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Complete credited cast:
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


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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


Film-Noir | Drama


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

20 February 1947 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Morte Misteriosa  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(TCM print)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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

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User Reviews

Fun, But Not As Good As Hyped
25 December 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

With a title like that, incredible plugs from several film noir historians and the presence of Lawrence Tierney, I just had to find this movie and buy it, even if it was sight-unseen and hard to obtain.

This had a "Detour" look to it, meaning a very low-budget film noir with a no- name cast except for Tierney, although he wasn't a big star anyway. I knew him from the film "Born To Kill" and was intriguing. Tierney played the same kind of psycho here. He was convincing, since he was mean and tough and nasty in real life, too.

In this film, four people dominate: one good man, one bad man, one good woman, one bad woman. The bad people, of course, have the best lines. You know Tierney is not good because insults everyone he sees, even a little baby. The other people are idiotic and you want slap them and say, "Wake up!" before Tierney does something bad to them.

The cops in here are also a bit strange. They would rather play poker than go chase a criminal. On second thought, maybe that was sensible. Anyway, it was odd to see.

In a nutshell, Tierney is on the run, and winds up with these other saps who he cons into hiding out in someone's vacant house. Most of the film is talk, not much action, but it moves pretty well and it only lasts 62 minutes. There are laughs along the way despite the seriousness of the story but it still was disappointing overall. I guess I expected too much. The title is still the best thing about the film. See it, if you can, but don't spend money on it as I did.

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