7.0/10
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28 user 12 critic

The Devil Thumbs a Ride (1947)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 20 February 1947 (USA)
Law-abiding Jimmy Ferguson soon regrets giving a ride to killer Steve Morgan.

Director:

Felix E. Feist (as Felix Feist)

Writers:

Robert C. DuSoe (novel), Felix E. Feist (as Felix Feist)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Lawrence Tierney ... Steve Morgan
Ted North ... Jimmy 'Fergie' Ferguson
Nan Leslie ... Beulah Zorn, alias Carol Demming
Betty Lawford ... Agnes Smith
Andrew Tombes ... Joe Brayden, Night Watchman
Harry Shannon ... Detective Owens, San Diego Police
Glen Vernon Glen Vernon ... Jack Kenny, Gas Station Attendant
Marian Carr ... Diane Ferguson
William Gould ... Police Capt. Martin, San Diego Police
Josephine Whittell ... Diane's mother
Phil Warren Phil Warren ... Pete, Roadblock Motorcycle Cop
Robert Malcolm ... Deputy Sheriff Grover
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Storyline

Steve Morgan kills a man in a holdup and hitches a ride to Los Angeles with Fergie. At a gas station, they pick up two women. Encountering a roadblock, Morgan takes over and persuades the party to spend the night at an unoccupied beach house. The police close in as one by one, the others learn that Morgan is a killer. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He'll kill until he dies! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 February 1947 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Morte Misteriosa See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Connections

Featured in Los Angeles Plays Itself (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A short, tightly crafted little shocker
21 May 2001 | by bmacvSee all my reviews

Over the decades, Felix Feist's The Devil Thumbs A Ride has gathered a fierce reputation as some sort of ultimate, quick-and-dirty film noir (like Detour). It's not quite that. Its dark star, Laurence Tierney, was more explosively, unpredictably violent in Born to Kill (and he had Claire Trevor at her malevolent best to play against). And Ida Lupino's The Hitch-Hiker corners the market on the terrors of the lonely road, come nightfall. (The better part of Devil Thumbs A Ride, by contrast, occur in a posh beach house somewhere between San Diego and Los Angeles). But the ensemble cast works well together -- Betty Lawford as good-time-gal Agnes is especially memorable. The end is somewhat troublesome; the necessary "restoration to normalcy" is abrupt and discordantly upbeat. The best films noirs close on a greyer, more ambiguous note. Still, this may be the finest 63-minute film ever made, and a key piece in the noir cycle.


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