The Hitch-Hiker (1953) The First Lady of Film Noir?

The Hitch-Hiker (1953) film noir poster artwork photo movie dvd screen

Way before Rutger Hauer hung around quiet highways waiting for his prey there was another deranged psycho itching to terrorize innocent good Samaritans.

The Hitch-Hiker (1953) film noir news paper article express

With a lazy eye and looks only a mother could love, twitchy finger mad man Emmett Myers, played brilliantly by William Talman, goes loco on his way to Mexico. After coldly gunning down a few friendly souls who took pity on him, they all made one last stop before they met their maker at the end of the murdering psychopath’s gun. A man with no remorse as he carries on his mission of death and carnage.

The Hitch-Hiker (1953) thumbs up hitch hiker Emmett Myers William Talman

Tagline – When was the last time you invited death into your car?

In rolls Roy Collins (Edmond O’Brien) and Gilbert Bowen (Frank Lovejoy), two good friends coming back from a fishing trip and seeing the poor guy who’s run out of gas at the side of the road in the cold of night, they pull over to help. Bad decision boys!

The Hitch-Hiker (1953) thumbs up hitch hiker film noir

It’s not long before these buddies realise they are in deep shit, when Emmett trains his gun on them from the back of the car.

Emmett Myers – “You guys are gonna die.. Just a matter of when!”

The Hitch-Hiker (1953) thumbs up hitch hiker Emmett Myers William Talman gun hold up

A manhunt is launched to track down this savage fiend, coming from both sides of the boarder, the American and Mexican police are desperate to catch a break to find him.

The Hitch-Hiker (1953) car hostages

With the constant fear, intimidation and psychological mind games of death around every corner on the long dusty roads. Can the two friends keep their heads and wits together to pull through this horror show?

The Hitch-Hiker (1953) film noir Ida Lupino director actress

This tension in this awesome film is cranked right up to the highest levels. Expertly directed by Ida Lupino, an actress in her own right but she had a keen eye behind the camera and wrote and tweaked screenplays. Not only that I was surprised to see she was born in Camberwell, London in the UK, the same birth place as the mighty Boris Karloff and umm hehe Giant Haystacks.

Hailed as the first lady of a true Film Noir, Ida smashes this film, she finds the perfect tension to keep you on the edge of your seat, every single second of the journey. If you can, check it out. If you’ve seen it or do see it, let me know what you thought.

Tagline – Who’ll be his next victim… YOU?

The screenplay is based on the real events of Billy Cook a real nasty piece of work!

The Hitch-Hiker (1953)back seat driver hitch hiker Emmett Myers William Talman

Opening credits – “This is the true story of a man and a gun and a car. The gun belonged to the man. The car might have been yours – or that young couple across the aisle. What you will see in the next seventy minutes could have happened to you. For the facts are actual”

Today’s lesson learnt, don’t pick up strangers unless you have a death wish. Good night and sweet dreams….. Wolfie

14 thoughts on “The Hitch-Hiker (1953) The First Lady of Film Noir?

  1. Nice review. You are so right about Ida cranking up the tension in this. She knew what she was doing when she put this one together. Brilliant performances and a realistic look help make this one a real classic.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes!! Great noir directed by the great Ida Lupino. She did wonders on a shoestring budget. She has distinctive camera work in her films–this one is her best, I think. But to me, it is her rapport with her actors, the ability to coax great performances from her stars that makes her stand out as a director. William Talman–always strong–was never better. All the actors play it natural against the backdrop of heavy noir. The screenplay is solid. Good stuff all around.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think she is just fantastic. From watching The Hitch-Hiker I went on a journey of discovery on Ida and watched a documentary on her and have been slowly ticking off her acting films. Still lots to see, I haven’t seen High Sierra, The Big Knife and I like the sound of Road House (I like Cornel Wilde too). Though there’s loads more to keep me entertained. I loved her in On Dangerous Ground and Private Hell 36.
      Everything you mention about her directing skills is so true, she made a mighty fine taut movie in Hitch-Hiker. Talman was delightfully EVIL. Sleeping with his eye opened, forever snarling with a face only a mother could love, hehe.

      Liked by 1 person

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