The Hitch-hiker


The Hitch-hiker (1953)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.


Want to See

Not Interested

Add Rating
My Rating    

The Hitch-hiker Photos

Movie Info

Two men on a fishing trip pick up a psychopathic fugitive with an intense hatred of humanity in this relentlessly suspenseful thriller directed by Ida Lupino and written by Daniel Mainwaring (Invasion of the Body Snatchers). Ray Collins (Edmund O'Brien) and Gilbert Bowen (Frank Lovejoy) are on their way to a relaxing weekend on the lake when they make the fateful mistake of giving a ride to Emmett Myers (William Tallman), a ruthless killer on the run from the cops. As a young child Myers was severely abused, and now he's determined to make the world suffer for the atrocities committed against him. An unrepentant sadist, Myers repeatedly uses his faulty eye (which is permanently open) to trick his two terrified victims into believing they have gained the upper hand in the tense stand-off, only to turn the tables on them at the last second. Inspired by the horrific crimes of real life mass murderer William Cook, who was eventually executed in San Quentin.


Edmond O'Brien
as Roy Collins
Frank Lovejoy
as Gilbert Bowen
William Talman
as Emmett Myers
José Torvay
as Capt. Alvarado
Jean Del Val
as Inspector General
Clark Howat
as Government Agent
Rodney Bell
as William Johnson
Nacho Galindo
as Proprietor
Tony Roux
as Gas Station Owner
Jerry Lawrence
as News Broadcaster
June Dinneen
as Waitress
Al Ferrara
as Gas Station Attendant
Henry Escalante
as Mexican Guard
Taylor Flaniken
as Mexican Cop
Wade Crosby
as Joe the Bartender
Gordon Barnes
as Hendrickson
Ed Hinton
as Chief of Police
Larry Hudson
as FBI Agent
View All

Critic Reviews for The Hitch-hiker

All Critics (12) | Top Critics (3)

This hell-for-leather 1953 noir demonstrates Ida Lupino's facility with actors and flawless pacing.

Mar 5, 2018 | Full Review…

Both Edmond O'Brien and Frank Lovejoy are experts as stalwart men gripped in a situation they never made.

Oct 31, 2006 | Full Review…

Taut, tough, and entirely without macho-glorification, it's a gem, with first-class performances from its three protagonists, deftly characterised without resort to cliché.

Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

A perilous and grim film noir entry.

Mar 5, 2018 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Lupino draws a performance of crackling malevolence from William Talman, as the serial killer physically and mentally scarred by his abusive childhood. Equally authentic is the impotent terror of weekend fishermen Edmond O'Brien and Frank Lovejoy.

Mar 5, 2018 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

If they gave awards for holding a gun in every single scene of a film from start to finish, (William) Talman would have won.

Nov 5, 2013 | Rating: 7/10 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Hitch-hiker

Ida Lupino directed this tough little pot-boiler of a thriller about 2 regular guys on a fishing trip who get kidnapped by one psychologically scarred piece of work for a cross-country trip via automobile. Everything's good here, everything, the direction, the acting, the writing ... a great noir.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer


A pretty good movie, but it could be better, especially now that there have been so many other movies like this one.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer


Great little Thriller by the only female directors of Hollywood's Golden Age, Ida Lupino. It starts out amazingly and then sort of peters out toward the end, but overall very enjoyable.

Ken Stachnik
Ken Stachnik

Super Reviewer


Ultimately a bit of a shaggy dog story - but the first hour is tight, unnerving ride through the postwar male American psyche.

Bob Stinson
Bob Stinson

Super Reviewer

The Hitch-hiker Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

News & Features