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The Hitch-Hiker (1953)

Two fishermen pick up a psychotic escaped convict who tells them that he intends to murder them when the ride is over.



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Complete credited cast:
Roy Collins
Gilbert Bowen
José Torvay ...
Captain Alvarado (as Jose Torvay)
Sam Hayes ...
Radio Broadcaster
Wendell Niles ...
Wendell Niles (as Wendel Niles)
Inspector General
Government Agent
Natividad Vacío ...
Jose (as Natividad Vacio)


Two friends on a fishing trip pick up a stranded motorist who turns out to be a psychotic escaped convict. This sociopath has already murdered other good Samaritans in his efforts to evade authorities. He sadistically taunts and threatens the two men and perversely delights in telling them that he has them both marked for death sometime before the end of the trip. His destination is a ferryboat in Baja, California, which he hopes will help him get to the mainland. The hostages hope to stay alive long enough to escape or be rescued by Mexican authorities. Written by duke1029

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Who'll be his next victim... YOU? See more »


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Release Date:

16 October 1953 (France)  »

Also Known As:

A stoppos  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


In an interview Talman recalled an incident that happened shortly after the release of The Hitch-Hiker (1953), in which he gave a chilling portrayal of escaped murderer and serial killer Emmett Meyers. He was driving his convertible in Los Angeles with the top down, and he stopped at a red light. Another driver in a convertible who was stopped next to him stared at him for a few seconds, then said, "You're the hitchhiker, right?" Talman nodded, indicating that he was. The other driver got out of his car, went over to Talman's car and slapped him across the face, then got back in his car and drove off. In recalling the story, Talman said, "You know, I never won an Academy Award but I guess that was about as close as I ever will come to one." See more »


When Lovejoy shoots the can off O'Brien's shoulder with his rifle, the next scene shows the rifle with the hammer cocked which it would not be if he just fired the rifle. The rifle is a pump .22 not an automatic. See more »


Emmett Myers: My folks were tough. When I was born, they took one look at this puss of mine and told me to get lost.
See more »

Crazy Credits

This is the true story of a man and a gun and a car. The gun belonged to the man. The car might have been yours - or that young couple across the aisle. What you will see in the next seventy minutes could have happened to you. For the facts are actual. See more »


Featured in The Story of Film: An Odyssey: Post-War Cinema (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

A Buried Little Treasure!
1 March 2002 | by (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

"The Hitch-Hiker" is an excellent little independently produced film-noire thriller directed by Ida Lupino. It is essentially a three character story about two pals on a fishing trip (or is it?) who stop to pick up a hitch-hiker whose car has apparently broken down, What they don't realize is that the hitchhiker is a crazed killer.

The two buddies are played by two of the best character actors of the period, Edmond O'Brien and Frank Lovejoy. The hitcher, in the role of his career, is played by William Tallman (of TV's Perry Mason fame).

The story covers their trek across the desert back roads of Mexico in an effort to evade the law. Most of the film takes place within the claustrophobic confines of O'Brien's car as he and Lovejoy remain at the mercy of loose cannon Tallman never knowing where or when he might decide to shoot them. Lupino gives us a compact, tense and suspenseful thriller. Shot in black and white, it runs a brief 71 minutes and delivers an excellent drama on a limited budget.

Rarely seen today, this movie is a buried little treasure.

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