The Twilight Zone (1959–1964)
18 user 5 critic

The Hitch-Hiker 

A young woman driving cross country becomes frantic when she keeps passing the same man on the side of the road. No matter how fast she drives the man is always up ahead, hitching her for a ride.



(teleplay by), (based on the radio play by)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Russ Bender ...
Gas Station Man


Nan Adams is driving across country from Manhattan to Los Angeles. Apart from a blown tire, the trip has been more or less uneventful. That is until she begins to see the same man, over and over again, hitchhiking along the highway. No matter how far she goes or how far she drives, the hitchhiker always seems to be ahead of her. She also seems to be the only person who can see him. When Nan decides to call home, all is revealed.

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Release Date:

22 January 1960 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Nan's car is a 1959 Mercury Montclair four door hardtop. See more »


After Nan narrowly escapes getting hit by the train, we hear her voice with two close up shots of her. The first has sun on her lower face, but when the shot changes slightly, the sun is gone. See more »


Rod Serling - Narrator: [Closing Narration] Nan Adams, age twenty-seven. She was driving to California; to Los Angeles. She didn't make it. There was a detour... through the Twilight Zone.
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User Reviews

Alone, and on the Road
20 July 2006 | by See all my reviews

Shabby hitch-hiker keeps reappearing as young woman drives cross-country.

Great episode. Perhaps the most haunting of all the entries. Serling's adaptation of the Louise Fletcher radio play is first rate, one of the best of the series. Everything entertaining and artistic comes together as Inger Stevens' cross-country trip descends from bright sunlight into the depths of midnight. There's suspense (the railroad crossing), humor (the sailor thinking it's his lucky day), mystery (what is this with the hitch-hiker), and finally pathos ( in a rear-view mirror). I particularly like the subtle way the final scene is handled with the superb camera work and expert use of half light and shadow. Notice how the camera shots become progressively tighter as the tension inside the car mounts. Also, there's the well-timed blinking neon in the final scene to convey a subtle transition. And for those who care-- there's a taste of radio drama in the voice-over sequences where Stevens is riding alone. Radio drama, of course, could not allow dead air time, so script writers such as Fletcher had to become skilled at verbalizing what the character is thinking. It still shows in these traveling sequences. (A half-facetious observation-- strange how so much of cross-country America looks like the scrub lands of southern Cal. But then, as good as the best shows are, TZ was never a big-budget series.) Anyhow, this is one of those haunting episodes that stays with you. So don't miss it.

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