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.
Nan's car is a 1959 Mercury Montclair four door hardtop. See more »
When Nan, in her car, escapes the oncoming train, the locomotive is clearly marked "SP" on the nose. The Southern Pacific RR did not serve the part of the US she was supposed to be in. It is obviously footage shot in California, where the SP did run. See more »
There are so many great episodes of "The Twilight Zone" that it would be difficult to rank them...but there are four or five that would definitely be near the top of the list. This is one of them. You can count on Syfy to air this one during every TZ marathon.
One reason it is my favorite -- this was the first episode of "The Twilight Zone" I ever saw, when it aired late at night on our local PBS station back in the early 1980s. I had no idea a show like this even existed and I was hooked immediately. The foreboding opening narration assures the viewer that a tale of suspense is about to unfold and you won't be disappointed as our protagonist, Nan Adams, drives across the country. She encounters numerous obstacles on her trip and first-time viewers will be on the edge of their seats a few times in the ensuing half-hour -- the train crossing sequence is chilling and Leonard Strong's recurring Hitchhiker character just adds to the growing dark atmosphere.
This episode was also my introduction to the beautiful Inger Stevens. She was a master of her craft and does a magnificent job of using facial expressions to convey Nan's growing sense of frustration and doom as the trip reaches its climax. It was not until a few years later that I learned of how Inger's life ended so tragically early but she left a legacy of great performances, this being one of them.
The ending was just classic "The Twilight Zone", with Rod Serling's closing narration perfectly written and stated. I give "The Hitchhiker" 10 out of 10 and urge anyone who hasn't seen it to give it a view. Definitely worth your time!
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