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Simply and sturdily constructed, The Hitch-Hiker consistently derives genuine terror from a chillingly plausible scenario. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

Ray (Edmond O'Brien) and Gilbert's (Frank Lovejoy) fishing trip takes a terrifying turn when the hitchhiker (William Talman) they pick up turns out to be a sociopath on the run from the law. He's killed before, and he lets the two know that as soon as they're no longer useful, he'll kill again. The two friends plot an escape, but the hitchhiker's peculiar physical affliction, an eye that never closes even when he sleeps, make it impossible for them to tell when they can make a break for it.

Cast & Crew

Frank Lovejoy
Gilbert Bowen
William Talman
Emmett Myers
Jose Torvay
Captain Alvarado
Collier Young
Screenwriter
Ida Lupino
Screenwriter
Leith Stevens
Original Music
Nicholas Musuraca
Cinematographer
Douglas Stewart
Film Editor
Harley Miller
Set Decoration
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Critic Reviews for The Hitch-Hiker

All Critics (44) | Top Critics (15) | Fresh (41) | Rotten (3)

  • The drama itself is confined to one basic situation: captives at the gunpoint mercy of a trigger-happy killer. But, playing this conflict for all it is worth, the movie works up a good deal of sweaty suspense without using false theatrics.

    February 24, 2021 | Full Review…
  • Don't take any children to see The Hitch-Hiker. And if anyone who sees the film ever picks up hitch-hikers again, he'll deserve what may happen.

    February 24, 2021 | Full Review…
  • With nothing more than three able actors, a car, a lot of rugged scenery, and their own impressive talents as producers, authors and director, Collier Young and Ida Lupino have brewed a grim little chiller called The Hitch-Hiker.

    February 24, 2021 | Full Review…
  • The Hitch-Hiker is a good movie because it does what it sets out to do. Without the handicap of more "message" than story, it performs a public service in alerting drivers to possible dangers of obeying a kindly impulse.

    February 24, 2021 | Full Review…
  • [Filmmakers Ida Lupino and Collier Young] have kept the film down to the taut and simple fundamentals if menace, suspense and chase, and have turned out an effective job, which ought to give any viewer some nervous moments.

    February 24, 2021 | Full Review…
  • Like the man with the gun in The Hitch-Hiker, the man In the theater seat keeps watching for a single false move. And to the credit of all concerned with the tight little thriller [The Hitch-hiker], this spectator never caught one.

    February 24, 2021 | Full Review…

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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