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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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Parents Guide:






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 »


Referenced in Adjust Your Tracking (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

It actually COULD be you in that car!
20 October 2006 | by (the Draconian Swamp of Unholy Souls) – See all my reviews

Usually when movies based on factual events start with a warning that it easily could have happened to you instead of to the characters, you don't pay too much attention to it, as it mostly handles about unlikely situations. Sure you'll wonder how you'd respond or randomly imagine what it would feel like, but in general the true events won't haunt your thoughts for long. In the case of Ida Lupino's "The Hitch-Hiker", this is totally different! Chances are high that once in your life, or maybe even recently, you picked up a hitcher and, after seeing this film, you won't do that again any time soon. That's how much of an impression this excellent film-noir will make on you. This flawlessly acted & directed thriller sustains a uniquely tense atmosphere from start to finish, and this without reverting to explicit violence or dreadful clichés. Inspired by the real-life murder case of Billy Cook, the plot centers on merciless serial killer Emmett Myers, who hitchhikes on the quiet roads of rural America but coldly executes the people that are kind enough to offer him a ride. As the list of casualties dramatically increases and police forces get to close on his tail, Myers hijacks one last car to escape into Mexico. The unfortunate passengers are Roy Collins and Gilbert Bowen, two buddies on their way for a fishing weekend. Myers continuously holds them at gunpoint, even sleeping with one eye open, and makes perfectly clear they aren't supposed to survive the journey. Amazingly realistic in "The Hitch-Hiker" is the depiction of Roy and Gilbert's behavior. Even though they have nothing to lose, they always obey their hijacker and live in fear for him. Perhaps it's because the director is a woman, but there's absolutely no macho nonsense or tough dialogs going on here. Myers is the guy with the gun and certainly not afraid to use it, so you obey his every command. William Talman's performance as the maniac is simply perplexing! With his odd eyes, monotonous voice and overall nihilistic world perspective, he definitely makes one of the scariest villains in the history of film-noir cinema. Top recommendation, don't miss it.

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