7.3/10
39,554
248 user 101 critic

The Hitcher (1986)

A young man who escapes the clutches of a murderous hitch-hiker is subsequently stalked by the hitcher and framed for his crimes.

Director:

Robert Harmon

Writer:

Eric Red
Reviews
Popularity
4,127 ( 507)

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3 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Rutger Hauer ... John Ryder
C. Thomas Howell ... Jim Halsey
Jennifer Jason Leigh ... Nash
Jeffrey DeMunn ... Captain Esteridge
John M. Jackson ... Sergeant Starr (as John Jackson)
Billy Green Bush ... Trooper Donner (as Billy Greenbush)
Jack Thibeau ... Trooper Prestone
Armin Shimerman ... Interrogation Sergeant
Gene Davis ... Trooper Dodge (as Eugene Davis)
Jon Van Ness ... Trooper Hapscomb
Henry Darrow ... Trooper Hancock
Tony Epper Tony Epper ... Trooper Conners
Tom Spratley Tom Spratley ... Proprietor
Colin Campbell Colin Campbell ... Construction Man
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Storyline

A young man transporting a car to another state is stalked along the road by a cunning and relentless serial killer who eventually frames the driver for a string of murders. Chased by police and shadowed by the killer, the driver's only help comes from a truck stop waitress. Written by Keith Loh <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Whatever you do, don't stop for The Hitcher See more »

Genres:

Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

21 February 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Liftaren See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,134,214, 23 February 1986, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$5,844,868
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo (4 channels)

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jennifer Jason Leigh agreed to do the film because she wanted to work with Rutger Hauer again (they co-starred in Flesh+Blood (1985)) and loved the character of Nash because "there was a real person there". See more »

Goofs

A bus changes from a two rear axles to one. See more »

Quotes

Captain Esteridge: [Alone with Jim in police car] There is something strange going on between the two of you. I don't know what it is. I don't want to know.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Um Dia Negro (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

DON'T STOP LOVIN' ME
Performed by Mickey Jones
Published by Mickey Jones Music (ASCAP)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
The Good And Bad Of The Hitcher
16 December 2005 | by ccthemovieman-1See all my reviews

The first time I saw this movie it just about terrified me....and few films have ever done that to me as an adult. Rutger Hauer was haunting as the demented killer.

The film moves very fast in this story of a maniac stalking a young motorist (C. Thomas Howell). Two subsequent viewings have quieted the fear but it's still a very chilling film and should keep most people riveted to the screen. It's an hour- and-a-half that will fly by with action and suspense.

On the negative side, not once but twice we have to watch Howell vomit. Neither he nor female lead Jennifer Jason Leigh are likable "good guys." (Of course, when has Leigh ever been a "good person" on screen?) The police, as usual in films, are pictured as sadistic, short-tempered idiots. Finally, credibility gets stretched a bit, particularly in the last 30 minutes.

So....expect a lot of good and a fair share of bad in this film. But, overall, it will be a film that will get your attention, beginning with Mr. Hauer.


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