The Hitch-hiker

1953

The Hitch-hiker

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

100%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 14

61%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,890
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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.

Cast

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
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Critic Reviews for The Hitch-hiker

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (14)

Audience Reviews for The Hitch-hiker

  • Sep 12, 2018
    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. W Super Reviewer
  • Sep 05, 2010
    A pretty good movie, but it could be better, especially now that there have been so many other movies like this one.
    Aj V Super Reviewer
  • May 19, 2008
    Interesting due to the fact that it is directed by a female, Ida Lupino. Didn't find anything special here, just didn't quite work.
    Emily B Super Reviewer
  • Jan 09, 2008
    I contributed on Kickstarter to Kino Lorber's new Pioneers: First Women Filmmakers five-disc set. My reward was a code to stream one film of my choice, and I chose this Ida Lupino film noir. She was a prolific actress who broke into directing. She made a handful of film-noir features in the early '50s before working regularly directing TV episodes for the small screen. Here, in Hitch-Hiker, she shows proficiency telling a road trip story with a thrifty small cast that builds so much tension by the climactic conclusion. Edmond O'Brien and Frank Lovejoy play Roy and Gil, two buddies taking time off for a relaxing fishing trip in Mexico. William Talman plays the hitchhiking escaped convict who threatens the two friends at gun point into taking him on a joy ride. The convict is a frightening serial killer. His taunts and threats as well as the two friends disagreeing over whether to fight him two against one or be obedient until a better chance at escape presents itself keeps the thrilling drama on the edge. The contrast of bright desert sun and night time headlights on streetlight free highways suggests the Expressionistic film noir aesthetic just enough. The psychological torment of criminal and victims is really the darkest part, especially when they are trapped in the car most of the time.
    Byron B Super Reviewer

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