Thieves' Highway (1949)

Approved  |   |  Drama, Film-Noir, Thriller  |  10 October 1949 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.7/10 from 3,416 users  
Reviews: 42 user | 35 critic

A war-veteran-turned-truck driver attempts to avenge the crippling and robbing of his father at the hands of an amoral produce scofflaw.



(screenplay), (novel)
0Check in

On Disc

at Amazon

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Brute Force (1947)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

At a tough penitentiary, prisoner Joe Collins plans to rebel against Captain Munsey, the power-mad chief guard.

Director: Jules Dassin
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Hume Cronyn, Charles Bickford
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

New York City film noir about two detectives investigating the death of an attractive young woman. The apparent suicide turns out to be murder.

Director: Jules Dassin
Stars: Barry Fitzgerald, Howard Duff, Dorothy Hart
Crime | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A small-time grifter and nightclub tout takes advantage of some fortuitous circumstances and tries to become a big-time player as a wrestling promoter.

Director: Jules Dassin
Stars: Richard Widmark, Gene Tierney, Googie Withers
Criss Cross (1949)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An armored truck driver and his lovely ex-wife conspire with a gang to have his own truck robbed on the route.

Director: Robert Siodmak
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Yvonne De Carlo, Dan Duryea
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

An ex-con trying to go straight is framed for a million dollar armored car robbery and must go to Mexico in order to unmask the real culprits.

Director: Phil Karlson
Stars: John Payne, Coleen Gray, Preston Foster
Force of Evil (1948)
Crime | Film-Noir | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

An unethical lawyer, with an older brother he wants to help, becomes a partner with a client in the numbers racket.

Director: Abraham Polonsky
Stars: John Garfield, Thomas Gomez, Marie Windsor
The Set-Up (1949)
Film-Noir | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Over-the-hill boxer Bill 'Stoker' Thompson insists he can still win, though his sexy wife Julie pleads with him to quit. But his manager Tiny is so confident he will lose, he takes money ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Wise
Stars: Robert Ryan, Audrey Totter, George Tobias
Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A woman planning to testify against the mob must be protected against their assassins on the train trip from Chicago to Los Angeles.

Director: Richard Fleischer
Stars: Charles McGraw, Marie Windsor, Jacqueline White
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The rise and fall of Stanton Carlisle, a mentalist who's lies and deceit prove to be his downfall.

Director: Edmund Goulding
Stars: Tyrone Power, Joan Blondell, Coleen Gray
Kiss of Death (1947)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

With his law-breaking lifestyle in the past, an ex-con, along with his family, attempt to start a new life, knowing a betrayed someone from the past is bound to see otherwise.

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: Victor Mature, Brian Donlevy, Coleen Gray
Crime | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A pickpocket unwittingly lifts a message destined for enemy agents and becomes a target for a Communist spy ring.

Director: Samuel Fuller
Stars: Richard Widmark, Jean Peters, Thelma Ritter
Whirlpool (1949)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A woman secretly suffering from kleptomania is hypnotized in an effort to cure her condition. Soon afterwards, she is found at the scene of a murder with no memory of how she got there and seemingly no way to prove her innocence.

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: Gene Tierney, Richard Conte, José Ferrer


Complete credited cast:
Rica (as Valentina Cortesa)
Barbara Lawrence ...
Ed Kinney
Joseph Pevney ...
Morris Carnovsky ...
Yanko Garcos
Tamara Shayne ...
Parthena Garcos
Kasia Orzazewski ...
Mrs. Polansky, the Apple Farmer's Wife
Norbert Schiller ...
Mr. Polansky, the Apple Farmer
Hope Emerson ...


The soldier Nick Garcos returns back home from the war very happy with gifts for his parents Yanko and Parthena Garcos and money in his pocket to open a business and get married with his girlfriend Polly Faber. Out of blue, Nick realizes that his father lost both legs and Yanko, who was a truck driver, tells that he was cheated by the dealer Mike Figlia in the San Francisco's market when he delivered a truckload of tomatoes and was not paid. He believes that his accident was provoked by Figlia's gangsters. He also tells that he sold the truck to a driver named Ed Kinney that has not paid him. Nick meets Ed and tells that he will bring the truck back, but Ed proposes a deal with apples, where they may earn a great amount. Nick invests his savings in another truck and buys apples from a Polish farmer. They need to drive directly to the market in San Francisco without sleeping to keep the fruits fresh, but Ed's truck has problem on its axle and Nick arrives first. Mike Figlia hires the ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


You Need a Friend, Strong Man, - And I'm Friendly! See more »


Approved | See all certifications »





Release Date:

10 October 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Collision  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Lee J. Cobb (Mike Figlia) and Morris Carnovsky (Yanko Garcos) were both members of the famous Group Theater (1931-1940) and appeared together in the original Broadway production of Odets' "Golden Boy," Carnovsky played the father of the boxer. When the play was filmed with William Holden in his debut role, Cobb played the father. See more »


When Rica tells Nick he looks tired, he responds "You'd be tired too if you drove four hundred miles without sleep." The distance from Fresno to San Francisco is less than 200 miles. See more »


Mike Figlia: Everything happens to me. The whole street, he's gotta break down in front of my place.
Charles, dock henchman: Tough luck.
Mike Figlia: I'm the original tough luck kid.
See more »


Featured in The Long Haul of A.I. Bezzerides (2005) See more »


I'll Never Be the Same
Music by Matty Malneck and Frank Signorelli
Played when Nick first meets Rica in the coffee shop
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Keep On Truckin'
26 August 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This was a pretty good film noir - nothing spectacular - involving a crooked trucking boss, "Mike Figlia" effectively played by Lee J. Cobb who was good at playing nasty villains. In this story, a young trucker, "Nick Garcos" (Richard Conte) whose father was ruined by Cobb, goes after him to settle the score. Nick drives up north to San Francisco to seek him out but has some rough going himself, until the end.

This had interesting characters and a different type of female lead in European actress Valentina Cortese, who was good film noir material.

The story moves pretty fast with few, if any, lulls, yet seems longer than it's 93 minutes. I found this was one of those films I liked a lot better the first time than the second, lowering my rating. It's definitely still a film to check out if you're a film noir fan.

18 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Wasn't the tire slashed? MBrydon-2
Old ugly man at cafe dukeofauge
anyone know the name of song. . . miriamwebster
Interesting Early Perspective of Modern Produce Industry stans-4
Discuss Thieves' Highway (1949) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: