A young man who escaped the clutches of a murderous hitch-hiker is subsequently stalked, framed for the hitcher's crimes, and has his life made into hell by the same man he escaped.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Sergeant Starr (as John Jackson)
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Trooper Donner (as Billy Greenbush)
Jack Thibeau ...
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Trooper Dodge (as Eugene Davis)
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Tony Epper ...
Tom Spratley ...
Colin Campbell ...
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Storyline

A young man transporting a car to another state is stalked along the road by a cunning and relentless serial killer who eventually frames the driver for a string of murders. Chased by police and shadowed by the killer, the driver's only help comes from a truck stop waitress. Written by Keith Loh <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Out on the desert highway, the rule of thumb has a different meaning... See more »

Genres:

Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 February 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Liftaren  »

Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$5,844,868 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(4 channels)

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In early drafts of the script, John Ryder had been described as skeletal in nature and so actors like David Bowie, Sting, Sam Shepard, Harry Dean Stanton, and Terence Stamp were mentioned. See more »

Goofs

When Jim and Nash are in the police car with the chopper flying around them in several scenes they are supposed to be driving 55 MPH, but in one shot they are just crawling. See more »

Quotes

[Jim watches John Ryder being interrogated]
Jim Halsey: [whispering] John Ryder.
Captain Esteridge: What'd you say?
Jim Halsey: His name is John Ryder.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in When Strangers Appear (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

DON'T STOP LOVIN' ME
Performed by Mickey Jones
Published by Mickey Jones Music (ASCAP)
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

"Do I look like a killer to you?"
6 November 2001 | by (Kentucky) – See all my reviews

The Hitcher is a marvelous thriller and Rutger Hauer is truly scary as hell. He is undoubtedly one of the best villains in cinematic history. The game that Hauer and C. Thomas Howell play out makes for a great way to spend an hour and a half of your life. You can't help but feel sorry for Howell as he can never escape the madman. Hauer has zero motive and that makes him all the more evil. And how he always finds Howell is something that is unnerving and unexplainable. It's like their paths were meant to cross somewhere out in in the desert. Eric Red's script leaves nothing to be desired. The scene where Howell is eating french fries is one of the most unforgettable in horror history. And so is the event that leads to the capture of Hauer. The end is fantastic and it's something that you want to do through the entire movie. It will definitely make you think twice before picking up hitchhikers. If you enjoyed The Hitcher, Check out Hitch-Hike (with David Hess) and Duel.


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