Based on the Stephen Potter "One Upmanship" and "Lifemanship" books, Henry Palfrey tries hard to impress but always loses out to the rotter Delauney. Then he discovers the Lifeman college ... See full summary »
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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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