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The Hitch-Hiker (1953)

Approved | | Crime, Film-Noir, Thriller | 29 April 1953 (Italy)
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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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
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)
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Storyline

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

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there's Death in his upraised Thumb! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

29 April 1953 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

The Difference  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Based upon an incident that happened in California in the early 1950s. A man named Billy Cook murdered a family of five, including three children, and then killed a traveling salesman. He then kidnapped two hunters and took them across the border into Mexico, intending to kill them, too, but before he could he was captured by Mexican police and subsequently extradited to the US, where he was tried for the murders, convicted, and died in the gas chamber at San Quentin on Dec. 12, 1952. See more »

Goofs

When Frank 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 »

Quotes

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.
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Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: 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 »

Connections

Referenced in The Subhuman (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Cruelty and Terror in it's purest form
31 December 2000 | by (Las Cruces, New Mexico) – See all my reviews

Two old army buddies (Edmund O'Brien, Frank Lovejoy) take off on a fishing trip from California to the Mexican coast. At the same time, a fugitive serial killer (William Tallman) is hitch-hiking and killing his way across the country. They intersect in the desert, just before the Mexican border. He hijacks and holds them hostage on an odyssey into hell. We follow them deeper and deeper into the beautiful, but hostile desert as Tallman seems to outwit the authorities time and again. They become more and more terrified as he becomes more and more psycho. He displays a kind of pure malice and cruelty that makes your skin crawl. Example: He forces one of the buddies to shoot the glass out of the other's hand. His evil character has a drooping right eye. While preparing to sleep around a campfire, he dares the captives to guess whether he is awake or asleep. They guess wrong - he kills them. The viewer takes this trip across the desert with them, all the way to their final destination, and the climax of this exciting film. It is easy to see why Ida Lupino, was considered one of the premier film noir directors. Her concept of the fishing buddies, courageous, proud, but terrified reaches right down into our guts. But it is her balanced vision of the evil, intelligent, unpredictable killer that defines the film. This is a keeper. If you like it - and how could you not - try Split Second. There is a curious coincidence between these two films. Both were directed by famous and respected actors. This by Ida Lupino and the other by Dick Powell.


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