28 user 11 critic

The Devil Thumbs a Ride (1947)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 20 February 1947 (USA)
Law-abiding Jimmy Ferguson soon regrets giving a ride to killer Steve Morgan.


(as Felix Feist)


(novel), (as Felix Feist)
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Born to Kill (1947)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A calculating divorcée risks her chances at wealth and security with a man she doesn't love by getting involved with the hotheaded murderer romancing her foster sister.

Director: Robert Wise
Stars: Claire Trevor, Lawrence Tierney, Walter Slezak
Bodyguard (1948)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

After being fired for insubordination, homicide detective Mike Carter is hired as bodyguard by the owner of a local meat-packing plant where a meat inspector has been murdered.

Director: Richard Fleischer
Stars: Lawrence Tierney, Priscilla Lane, Phillip Reed
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Frank Johnson flees police after becoming an eyewitness to murder. He is pursued around scenic San Francisco by his wife, a reporter, the police, and... the real murderer.

Director: Norman Foster
Stars: Ann Sheridan, Dennis O'Keefe, Robert Keith
Crime | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A young doctor falls in love with a disturbed young woman, becomes involved in the death of her husband, and has to flee with her to the Mexican border.

Director: John Farrow
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Claude Rains, Faith Domergue
Dillinger (1945)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

John Dillinger begins his life of crime as a petty thief, meets his future gang in prison and eventually masterminds a series of daring robberies.

Director: Max Nosseck
Stars: Lawrence Tierney, Edmund Lowe, Anne Jeffreys
Drama | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

When a lovely wife and her new husband, settle in an ancient mansion on the East coast, she discovers he may want to kill her.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Joan Bennett, Michael Redgrave, Anne Revere
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A former boxer turned cab driver has to hide from the police when his badgering wife is murdered by the jewel thief she was having an affair with.

Director: Phil Karlson
Stars: John Payne, Evelyn Keyes, Brad Dexter
Side Street (1949)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A struggling young father-to-be gives in to temptation and impulsively steals money from the office of a shady lawyer - with catastrophic consequences.

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: Farley Granger, Cathy O'Donnell, James Craig
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A covert FBI agent infiltrates a ruthless gangster mob, but his life is at risk from a mysterious informant who funnels inside information to the hoodlums.

Director: William Keighley
Stars: Mark Stevens, Richard Widmark, Lloyd Nolan
Phantom Lady (1944)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A beautiful secretary risks her life to try to find the elusive woman who may prove her boss didn't murder his selfish wife.

Director: Robert Siodmak
Stars: Franchot Tone, Ella Raines, Alan Curtis
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

George Taylor returns from WWII with amnesia. Back home in Los Angeles, while trying to track down his old identity, he stumbles onto a 3-year old murder case and a hunt for a missing $2 million.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Stars: John Hodiak, Nancy Guild, Lloyd Nolan
Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Man accused of a murder he didn't commit hides out in the South American jungle.

Director: Max Nosseck
Stars: Lawrence Tierney, George Coulouris, Marissa O'Brien


Complete credited cast:
Ted North ...
Jimmy 'Fergie' Ferguson
Beulah Zorn, alias Carol Demming
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
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 <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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


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 »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Scenery Chewing At Its Finest...Pick This One Up!
15 April 2003 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Lawrence Tierney singlehandedly lifts this poverty row cheapie from lowbrow crime melodrama anonymity to the upper pantheon of low budget noir exploitation immortality. Bears some resemblance to other low budget limited set piece claustrophobic pics like THE DESPERATE HOURS or PETRIFIED FOREST, but don't dwell on that. There are a lot of strangled laughs given the tense set-up, but don't dwell on that, either. Ignore the implausibilities and wildly uneven acting and revel instead in young Tierney's charismatic menace and casual sadism. He so dominates the proceedings that any analysis of plot points (fairly lacking) or cinematography (surprisingly good) or direction (not so hot) really pales in comparison. One of those rare films that has such bad performances that it is an instant classic yet also featuring such a standout performance from Tierney that it is also an instant classic. Trust me on this one, brother... don't miss this obscure but vital piece of 50s Americrimedramacana. You will be amused and amazed, horrified and entertained, but most of all... you will not soon forget the experience.

17 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Discuss The Devil Thumbs a Ride (1947) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: