7.3/10
39,275
247 user 97 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

On Disc

at Amazon

3 wins. See more awards »

Photos

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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 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:

Out on the desert highway, the rule of thumb has a different meaning... 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

After 2 Ford LTD Sheriff cars are destroyed, 3 State units join the pursuit. At first, all 3 state units are Chrysler M-Bodies cars. However when the chopper is destroyed, the first State unit which flips becomes a Ford. See more »

Quotes

Jim Halsey: Why are you doing this to me?
John Ryder: You're a smart kid... figure it out.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Dawson's Creek: Eastern Standard Time (2001) 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

 
One of the best thrillers ever...
13 October 2007 | by dvc5159See all my reviews

A normal ordinary guy picks up a stranger in the middle of nowhere so that he could drive awake. Little does he know that he's going into a road trip from hell...

Rutger Hauer give what I think is his best performance. Sure, there was that menacing Replicant in Blade Runner, but this one overshoots it by a long shot. He delivers a performance so good, that you'll find it difficult to question whether his character is believable or unbelievable.

C. Thomas Howell, one one of the kids in Steven Spielberg's ET, plays the protagonist. Here, he faces every driver's worst nightmare imaginable, and he delivers it with realism. Howell also demonstrates how an ordinary teenager can change into a helpless being who is caught between a psychopathic game of cat-and-mouse set by a brutal man hell-bent on killing him.

The nice New Mexico cinematography of which the film was filmed and set gives tranquility to the picture and makes the film looks good while delivering the thrills. Strongly supporting this topic is composer Mark Isham's gritty yet beautiful score. It;s just perfect for this kind of movie.

The action sequences are handled very nicely here. We got a petrol station blowing up, an intense police car chase, and one of the greatest endings in cinematic history. Period.

The Hitcher (1986) is one of the first films I have ever watched, and I still cherish it to this day. The 2007 remake, or rather, reDO, is a shallow and uninspiring music-videoish piece of crud that will only be liked by the MTV generation, but never the fans of the original. Why was it remade, we will never know.

Overall, it is an excellent movie and one of the best thrillers ever made. Pick this one up, guys, it's worth it.

8/10


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