Twilight Zone: Season 1, Episode 16

The Hitch-Hiker (22 Jan. 1960)
"The Twilight Zone" The Hitch-Hiker (original title)

TV Episode  -   -  Fantasy | Horror | Mystery
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Ratings: 8.4/10 from 1,373 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 4 critic

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), 1 more credit »
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Title: The Hitch-Hiker (22 Jan 1960)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Nan Adams
Lew Gallo ...
Leonard Strong ...
The Hitch-Hiker
Russ Bender ...
George Mitchell ...
Gas Station Man


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.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis






Release Date:

22 January 1960 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Musical cues Bernard Herrmann composed for the 1946 radio production were re-scored for this episode. 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 »


Narrator: [opening narration] Her name is Nan Adams. She's twenty-seven years old. Her occupation: buyer at a New York department store. At present on vacation, driving cross-country to Los Angeles, California from Manhattan.
Narrator: [continued narration, subsequent to character dialogue] Minor incident on Highway 11 in Pennsylvania. Perhaps, to be filed away under "accidents you walk away from." But from this moment on, Nan Adams' companion on a trip to California will be terror. Her route: fear. Her destination:...
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User Reviews

Alone, and on the Road
20 July 2006 | by (Claremont,USA) – 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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