6.8/10
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29 user 14 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 ... 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 | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

He'll Kill until he Dies! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The house Lawrence Tierney and his unfortunate companions roll into for the final act, is the same as Verna's (Susan Hayward) house that she shares with her friend in They Won't Believe Me, also RKO and of the same year. See more »

Connections

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

User Reviews

 
Brutal
31 July 2005 | by HandlinghandelSee all my reviews

Laurence Tierney seems to have been born to play this role. He is sinister, amoral, nasty. It's beautifully filmed and superbly directed, though it has a raw feel.

Tiernry is the title character. A devil he surely is. He gets the poor dope who picks him up a very hard time. The two women they then give rides to fare even less well.

Betty Lawford is perfect as the tough, over-the-hill floozy of those two. She is always looking for a deal for herself -- silk stockings, salvation... We like her, though, and feel that we may have encountered her or her like behind countless counters.

We feel bad for the gas station attendant when Tierney says cruel things about the picture of his young daughter. There is no doubt: Tierney's character is a dreadful person. But the gas station attendant is a pain himself. He's an annoying know-it-all.

The police are not portrayed in a very favorable light, either. So who do we actually like? Maybe the younger of the two hitchhikers, Beulah. Her older pal, though we surely do not admire her. The watchman Tierney cruelly gets drunk? Not really.

It's a slice of life cut with a hatchet and the slice is not pretty no matter what angle we look at it from.


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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
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