6.9/10
725
29 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)
Reviews

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

The Threat (1949)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Vicious hood 'Red' Kluger escapes from Folsom State Prison and follows through on his threats to the detective who arrested him and the D.A. who convicted him.

Director: Felix E. Feist
Stars: Michael O'Shea, Virginia Grey, Charles McGraw
Bodyguard (1948)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

After being fired for insubordination, homicide detective Mike Carter is hired as bodyguard by the owner of a local meat-packing plant where a meat inspector has been murdered.

Director: Richard Fleischer
Stars: Lawrence Tierney, Priscilla Lane, Phillip Reed
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An ex-convict and a woman fall in love, after she shoots her police Lt. boyfriend dead in self defense, and falsely leads him to believe that he did the shooting.

Director: Felix E. Feist
Stars: Ruth Roman, Steve Cochran, Lurene Tuttle
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A veteran homicide detective who has witnessed his socialite girlfriend kill her husband sees his inexperienced brother assigned to the case.

Director: Felix E. Feist
Stars: Lee J. Cobb, Jane Wyatt, John Dall
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A high-class crook gets in trouble with the law.

Director: Robert Rossen
Stars: Dick Powell, Evelyn Keyes, Lee J. Cobb
Tension (1949)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A meek pharmacist creates an alternate identity under which he plans to murder the bullying liquor salesman who has become his wife's lover.

Director: John Berry
Stars: Richard Basehart, Audrey Totter, Cyd Charisse
Desperate (1947)
Crime | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A young married couple flee both police and a gangster out for revenge.

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: Steve Brodie, Audrey Long, Raymond Burr
The Web (1947)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An attorney acting as a body guard, apparently kills a man in defense of his employer's life, and later believes the victim was set up to be murdered.

Director: Michael Gordon
Stars: Ella Raines, Edmond O'Brien, William Bendix
Framed (1947)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Mike Lambert, seeking a mining job, instead becomes the patsy for a femme-fatale's schemes.

Director: Richard Wallace
Stars: Glenn Ford, Janis Carter, Barry Sullivan
Cry Danger (1951)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Ex-con Rocky Mulloy seeks the real culprit in the crime for which he was framed in a night world of deceptive dames and double crosses.

Director: Robert Parrish
Stars: Dick Powell, Rhonda Fleming, Richard Erdman
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A small town policeman is assisted by a Harvard professor when a human skeleton is found on a Massachusetts beach.

Director: John Sturges
Stars: Ricardo Montalban, Sally Forrest, Bruce Bennett
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A covert FBI agent infiltrates a ruthless gangster mob, but his life is at risk from a mysterious informant who funnels inside information to the hoodlums.

Director: William Keighley
Stars: Mark Stevens, Richard Widmark, Lloyd Nolan
Edit

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 ... 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
Edit

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:

NOT EVEN HER KISSES COULD HALT HIS FURY...when his evil brain cried "KILL!" See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Connections

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

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Dark Nutty Thrill Ride
19 May 2001 | by abooboo-2See all my reviews

First of all, let's get something straight. "The Devil Thumbs A Ride" is the BEST title in the history of motion pictures. Hands down. It's not even close. What a vivid and startling image those words conjure up in the mind's eye.

This is a movie I've been trying to track down for years and it does not disappoint. It's surprisingly nasty considering the year it was made, though always with a wingy "now let's not take any of this too seriously folks" feel to it. It's as if the director, Felix Feist, was hired to crank out a simple little crime quickie with a good guy, a bad guy, a nice girl and a bad girl, but wasn't quite sure how to do that (sort of like a gifted baseball pitcher who just can't throw any pitch straight). So he tosses everything into a blender and twists it into a swirling, pulpy freak show. The bad guy seems too cool and in control, the "good" guy is sort of a creep, the nice girl meets a shocking fate, and the bad girl almost steals the show. Certainly a zippy, wicked ancestor of Tarantino and all the Tarantino knock-offs that litter the shelves at Blockbuster.

Feist was a breathless, inventive director who really knew how to move the camera and keep things humming along. (His movies are incredibly tightly paced.) The vacuum cleaner scene, played without dialogue, is a real highlight. And Lawrence Tierney of course, is excellent. When he advises "better let me take the wheel", you know it's going to be a wild ride.

There are some goofy B-movie slip-ups (the cop who agrees to let the gas station attendant come along on the chase for the killer, for one) but that only adds to its charm. One of the cruelest code-era films I've seen, it has a slapped on happy ending that seems to go about as well as perfume on a chainsaw. Richly deserving of its growing cult.


14 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 29 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed