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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Very Solid Noir Programmer

8/10
Author: mackjay from Out there in the dark
19 June 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

HI-JACKED is another pleasant surprise for those seeking enjoyable minor films noirs from the B movie era. Like many others of its kind, this film begins with a stiff-voiced announcer warning us of the dangers of the crime at hand. Here, the featured crime is truck hi-jacking. A criminal organization sets up road blocks and other subterfuges to lead truck drivers into stopping, at which point their cargo is stolen.

Once past the extremely brief announcer's segment, the film opens in a compelling noir mode. On a rainy, dark highway, a truck driver stops to help a stranded motorist. As he approaches the car, three men jump from behind it, cold-cock him, and leave him by the roadside. This particular driver will be seen to be the protagonist of HI-JACKED. Nicely played by Jim Davis (known to many of us from frequent western TV appearances), Joe Harper is placed immediately under suspicion by a detective. Harper has a criminal record. As he himself puts it, "a guy with a record has the deck stacked against him." Given another chance by his employer (Ralph Sanford), poor Harper only falls victim a second time to the criminal scheme (this time, unknowingly transporting stolen merchandise). As it turns out, Harper's employer is behind the criminal operation. When he and his partner (Paul Cavanaugh from HUMORESQUE) decide to gradually wind down their activities, they set up Joe Harper as their fall guy. This is where the film solidly enters noir territory: the fall guy with a criminal record is clearly the quarry of "fate". Things look bad for Harper, even though his faithful wife has returned to him. Thanks to his ability to recognize the voice of one of the hi-jackers (David Bruce of THE MAD GHOUL) on the phone, Harper is able to beat the thugs at their game. In a very dark, violent, classically noir sequence we see him vindicate himself nicely in speedy B movie fashion. The film has a good deal of well-executed violence and there is effective comic relief from a fast-talking truck stop waitress (Iris Adrian) and would-be tough-guy Sid Melton, who insists on being called "Killer".

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

"I Need To Stay Free To Clear Myself"

5/10
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York
23 May 2011

Jim Davis later patriarch of the Ewing family of Dallas stars as a paroled ex-convict who is working as a truck driver. He gets himself hi-jacked a couple of times and his job and the authorities start suspecting him of being an inside man. The guy who's really doing the tipping decides with the fence for the stolen merchandise to sweeten the suspicious pot by planting evidence to incriminate him. Though carrying a weapon is an automatic trip back to the joint, as Davis points out, he has to stay free to clear himself. Especially after the evidence implicates his completely innocent wife Marcia Mae Jones and she's arrested when the police miss him.

The film reminds of a much superior noir classic Kansas City Confidential where John Payne finds himself in a similar jackpot. Not that this is a bad film, but its from the poverty row Lippert Pictures studio and has the shallow production values of its origins.

Davis does well as a guy looking to take care of business and the crooks who have done him wrong. The gang is headed by fence Paul Cavanaugh who advises and doesn't control. The muscle is done by David Bruce and he has a rough bunch with him including a wannabe in Sid Melton. Melton was in a whole lot of Lippert productions providing much needed comedy relief. And Iris Adrian as a wisecracking waitress is also in the cast and every film that she graces is that much better for her presence.

Hi-Jacked is a good product, very good considering the cheapness of its origins.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Average Little Programmer

5/10
Author: dougdoepke from Claremont, USA
30 November 2011

An ex-con trucker works to clear himself from involvement with a gang of hi-jackers.

Can't expect much from a cheapo Lippert production, but this little programmer manages some interest. Davis does well as an ex-con truck driver. His skinny, towering frame and bushy hair have a different look from the usual Hollywood lead. The movie also benefits from highway filming along a major route into LA. Then too, I expect there's some insight into hi-jacking operations of the time since that angle appears pretty realistic.

But why-oh-why does Lippert insist on putting pint-sized Sid Melton in so many of their productions. Here, his silly phony tough guy does nothing but detract from what's otherwise a sober crime drama. Not so, the one-and-only Iris Adrian as a hash house waitress. Too bad Lippert didn't realize she furnishes enough expert comedy relief without the clumsy Melton. Also, look for Paul Cavanaugh (Hagen) whose polished bad guys graced many superior productions of the 30's and 40's.

Nothing special here. Just one of those minor programmers that would soon get absorbed into half-hour TV, in this case, into Highway Patrol (1955-1959).

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Keep on truckin' down the highway of destiny.

4/10
Author: mark.waltz from United States
18 July 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Jim Davis of "Dallas" fame had a lengthy film career in B films before he got a huge break during the last years of his life being cast as patriarch Jock Ewing. Here, he's the star of a low budget Lippert film noir where he's accused of being a part of a hi-jacking ring and ends up going his own way to figure out how he was framed. It's a typical movie tough guy programmer with Paul Cananaugh a dashing villain, former child actress Marcia Mae Jones as his estranged wife, diminutive comic Sid Melton as funny guy crook who only wants to use a gun and tough talking Iris Adrian as an earthy waitress with a wisecrack to serve with every cup of coffee or crueller. Davis is believable in the lead and Cavanaugh is deliciously sinister. However Adrian overacts (shouting every word as if she was playing to the third balcony) and Melton clowns simply too much. Sometimes perfectly tense, it goes off track with the comic interludes.

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0 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

One for Ralph Sanford fans!

4/10
Author: JohnHowardReid
10 December 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

When you see the names, Sam Newfield and any of his pseudonyms (Sherman Scott and Peter Stewart) on any movie, run – don't walk! – to your player or computer and turn the darn thing off. True, Newfield/Scott/Stewart did direct one or two movies (out of the close to 300 on which he put one of his names) that are reasonable viewing, but Hi-Jacked isn't anything special, unless you're a fan of Sid Melton (I'm not) or Ralph Sanford (I am). It does move at a reasonable pace, but it's pretty routine, even though the script delineates the hero as the dumbest of dumb clots. There's a scene in which boofhead drinks some doped coffee, but boof is so stupid he goes on drinking it even though it's sending him to bye-byes. Iris Adrian is in the support cast, but she's not at her best in this one either. In fact she passes up a grand opportunity to make hay with the menu by throwing her lines away far too fast.

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