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.
The voice-over narration references the radio-play source of the episode. The original radio play was originally produced for a summer replacement series called "Suspense" on September 2, 1942 and starred Orson Welles. The program was so popular that Welles restaged the same script for "Philip Morris Playhouse" on October 15, 1942 and "Mercury Summer Theater on the Air" on June 21, 1946. Musical cues Bernard Herrmann composed for the 1946 radio production were re-scored for this episode. 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 »
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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Of course, there are so many hitchhiker ghost stories. This one is a classic. Inger Stevens has a narrow escape (or so she thinks). She is helped by a service station guy who replaces her tire and sends her on her way. At the site, she sees a man in a gray suit and a slouch hat. He is trying to get a ride. She avoids him but he keeps popping up over and over and over. He is always ahead of her. She does everything she can within her power to avoid him. There is a pathetic to pick up a sailor to help her, but she doesn't think rationally and drives him away. Still the man is there. Of course, there is the classic ghost story ending. Inger Stevens who later died tragically is quite good and the camera angles and the presence of the hitchhiker is ominous. This has always been one of the more talked about episodes.
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