Best Movies by Farr
The Hitch-Hiker Poster
Released Runtime Category
1953 70 Drama
Director Language
Ida Lupino English
Edmond O’Brien, Frank Lovejoy, William Talman

The Hitch-Hiker

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What's it About

Two army buddies (O’Brien and Lovejoy) leave their wives to go on a fishing trip along the Baja peninsula. Along the way, they pick up a lone hitch-hiker who happens to be infamous serial killer Emmett Myers (Talman), wanted for murder in nine states. Myers forces them at gunpoint to drive across the desert into Mexico. As time passes, he keeps his hostages in agonizing suspense as to their ultimate fate. Will these men somehow survive this ordeal?

Why we love it

Reputedly the only film noir directed by a woman, this chilling survival tale owes much to Lupino’s inspired work behind the camera. Not only did she step in to direct when the original director fell ill, she also co-wrote the screenplay with then husband Collier Young. Screenwriter Daniel Mainwaring (“Out of the Past”) also did uncredited touch-ups to the hard-boiled dialogue. Lupino’s choice to film on location in the dusty, barren desert adds authenticity, while the beautiful black and white cinematography accentuates the prevailing mood of dread.  Talman would go on to fame in the television show “Perry Mason”, but his riveting performance here as the psychotic killer cements “The Hitch-hiker” as a film noir classic.

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BEST MOVIES BY FARR is your personal guide to great movies to rent, stream, or buy; to watch at home or on-the-go. Led by film advocate John Farr, the Best Movies by Farr team works as a "quality filter" for the discerning moviegoer. Every day, we bring you the best of the best, the fantastic familiar films and hidden gems, to answer that age-old question: "What should we watch tonight?"