7.0/10
5,331
81 user 52 critic

The Hitch-Hiker (1953)

Two fishermen pick up a psychotic escaped convict who tells them that he intends to murder them when the ride is over.

Director:

Ida Lupino

Writers:

Collier Young (screenplay), Ida Lupino (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Edmond O'Brien ... Roy Collins
Frank Lovejoy ... Gilbert Bowen
William Talman ... Emmett Myers
José Torvay ... Captain Alvarado (as Jose Torvay)
Sam Hayes Sam Hayes ... Radio Broadcaster
Wendell Niles Wendell Niles ... Wendell Niles (as Wendel Niles)
Jean Del Val ... Inspector General
Clark Howat ... Government Agent
Natividad Vacío Natividad Vacío ... Jose (as Natividad Vacio)
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Storyline

Two friends on a fishing trip pick up a stranded motorist who turns out to be a psychotic escaped convict. This sociopath has already murdered other good Samaritans in his efforts to evade authorities. He sadistically taunts and threatens the two men and perversely delights in telling them that he has them both marked for death sometime before the end of the trip. His destination is a ferryboat in Baja, California, which he hopes will help him get to the mainland. The hostages hope to stay alive long enough to escape or be rescued by Mexican authorities. Written by duke1029

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

there's Death in his upraised Thumb! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

29 April 1953 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

The Difference See more »

Filming Locations:

Big Pine, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The movie's poster was as #23 of "The 25 Best Movie Posters Ever" by Premiere. See more »

Goofs

After the trio stops to disconnect their stuck car horn, further down the road they experience a tire blow-out. As the car comes to a stop, the car horn can be briefly heard. See more »

Quotes

Emmett Myers: You guys are soft. You know what makes you that way? You're up to your neck in IOU's. You're suckers! You're scared to get out on your own. You've always had it good, so you're soft. Well, not me! Nobody ever gave me anything, so I don't owe nobody!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: This is the true story of a man and a gun and a car. The gun belonged to the man. The car might have been yours-or that young couple across the aisle. What you will see in the next seventy minutes could have happened to you. For the facts are actual. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Adjust Your Tracking (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Violin Concerto No 2 in E Minor, Op 64--Andante
Written by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
See more »

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User Reviews

 
It actually COULD be you in that car!
20 October 2006 | by CoventrySee all my reviews

Usually when movies based on factual events start with a warning that it easily could have happened to you instead of to the characters, you don't pay too much attention to it, as it mostly handles about unlikely situations. Sure you'll wonder how you'd respond or randomly imagine what it would feel like, but in general the true events won't haunt your thoughts for long. In the case of Ida Lupino's "The Hitch-Hiker", this is totally different! Chances are high that once in your life, or maybe even recently, you picked up a hitcher and, after seeing this film, you won't do that again any time soon. That's how much of an impression this excellent film-noir will make on you. This flawlessly acted & directed thriller sustains a uniquely tense atmosphere from start to finish, and this without reverting to explicit violence or dreadful clichés. Inspired by the real-life murder case of Billy Cook, the plot centers on merciless serial killer Emmett Myers, who hitchhikes on the quiet roads of rural America but coldly executes the people that are kind enough to offer him a ride. As the list of casualties dramatically increases and police forces get to close on his tail, Myers hijacks one last car to escape into Mexico. The unfortunate passengers are Roy Collins and Gilbert Bowen, two buddies on their way for a fishing weekend. Myers continuously holds them at gunpoint, even sleeping with one eye open, and makes perfectly clear they aren't supposed to survive the journey. Amazingly realistic in "The Hitch-Hiker" is the depiction of Roy and Gilbert's behavior. Even though they have nothing to lose, they always obey their hijacker and live in fear for him. Perhaps it's because the director is a woman, but there's absolutely no macho nonsense or tough dialogs going on here. Myers is the guy with the gun and certainly not afraid to use it, so you obey his every command. William Talman's performance as the maniac is simply perplexing! With his odd eyes, monotonous voice and overall nihilistic world perspective, he definitely makes one of the scariest villains in the history of film-noir cinema. Top recommendation, don't miss it.


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