The Devil Thumbs a Ride (1947) Ruthless Sociopath Hitchhiker In Manhunt Noir

The Devil Thumbs A Ride (1947) Lawrence Tierney film noir thriller hitch hiker drama

Another murderous noir with Lawrence Tierney. This review is for perfectly named The Devil Thumbs a Ride (1947)

What’s going down?

With an unflinching brutal murder of a bank clerk in San Diego in like five seconds of the film starting. It’s safe to say Steve Morgan (Lawrence Tierney) is a dangerous and twisted man. He calmly thumbs for a lift and attracts the attention of the kindhearted, slightly sozzled traveling salesmen, Jimmy ‘Fergie’ Ferguson (Ted North). With the need for fuel they stop at a gas station. Soon suspicion is raised in Steve Morgan’s dodgy manner and a police manhunt is set up with roadblocks across the state lines. Soon two become four with the addition of two hitchhiking ladies. The stakes are high and now the chase is on.

The Devil Thumbs A Ride (1947) Lawrence Tierney film noir thriller Ted North hitch hikers

The main players

Lawrence Tierney – Steve Morgan
Ted North – Jimmy “Fergie” Ferguson
Nan Leslie – Carol Demming
Betty Lawford – Agnes Smith
Andrew Tombes – Night Watchman
Harry Shannon – Detective Owens
Glen Vernon – Gas Station Attendant
Marian Carr – Diane Ferguson

Tagline – NOT EVEN HER KISSES COULD HALT HIS FURY…when his evil brain cried “KILL!”

Sure I’ve seen them in something?

Shamefully I only clocked who Lawrence Tierney was from watching Born To Kill (1947) last week. Wow the guy certainly has a presence about him. I’ll admit that apart from him I didn’t really recognise anyone in this production. However having a little dig on IMDB how could I not of remembered Miss Marian Carr? She’d played sexy Friday in the incredible Robert Aldrich adaptation of the Mickey Spillane cult classic Kiss Me Deadly (1955). Plus I’m also sure I’ve seen the booze loving nightwatchman, Andrew Tombes pop up in something before?

The Devil Thumbs A Ride (1947) Lawrence Tierney film noir thriller cigarettes smoking mirror image

Notes on production?

The Devil Thumbs A Ride is directed by Felix E Feist and an adaption of a novel by Robert C. DuSoe. Whereas I don’t know any of Felix’s films there has been a few that I’d added to my “must watch one day” list without realizing who the director was. The great sounding sci-fi chiller Donovan’s Brain (1953) and The Man Who Cheated Himself (1950) which has to be an essential watch with having Lee J Cobb as the leading man.

Hits like a sledge hammer

Lawrence Tierney is so dastardly. He really played the psycho, worryingly, horribly perfect. Every manipulating sentence that comes out of his mouth is filled with so much venom as he tries twisting his pathway out of situations. You see actors play bad but Tierney really has a feel of pure unadulterated danger. He has to be up there as one of the most fierce characters I’ve come cross. Maybe it’s the fact he has the rugged good looks of a leading man but then that evil smirk comes through. His whole demeanor just exposes this fierce sociopath who will do anything for his own gain.

He takes pleasure in dropping some cutting remarks and a fired off vicious slap makes you almost feel it through the screen. And if your cherished kid happens to have big ears then be ready to be hurt!

From the look of those ears she’s gonna be able to fly before she can walk!
Keep the change, buy something nice for your kid”…. “Yeah a parachute!

The Devil Thumbs A Ride (1947) Lawrence Tierney film noir thriller drama close up face dark shadows

Verdict

Coming in with a run-time of just one hour, The Devil Thumbs A Ride is a roller coaster of a film. It doesn’t sit for a minute as it rushes across the screen from scene to scene. All the cast are good in their roles but lets be honest here it’s really the Lawrence Tierney show from start to finish. And it’s fascinating to watch just how far his evil will take him. I scored it a 7/10 but LT alone would of made it a strong 8 if the film had slowed down the end a touch. Plus a few unbelievable situations, I guess for comic relief, like having the young Gas Station Attendant join the chase with the old Detective Owens was a tad cheesy. Saying that, it all added to the excitement of where was this thriller taking us? Of course with that short run-time it doesn’t take long to find out. The Devil Thumbs A Ride can be watched here.

Big thanks to Todd over at Cinema Monolith for the recommend. Check his review of here.

The Devil Thumbs A Ride (1947) Lawrence Tierney film noir thriller drama criminal police mug shot

Rating score

Wolfman’s rating 7/10       IMDB 6.9/10

Feel free to recommend me related movies and any other trivia if you wish. Keep having fun at the movies…. Mikey Wolf

Joe Rogan At The Movies, Rick Baker Werewolf Stories & Edward Norton Film Set Tales

Rick Baker Monster Maker aliens specail effect make up guru master

When I’m lucky enough to be space invader* free at work I love nothing more than plugging into podcasts as I weld and make stuff. Today was one of those blissful days. Joe Rogan always has a diverse selection of guests to interview. I’m happy to listen to most but today when I clicked on the feed not only did Edward Norton’s name pop up but the legend that is Rich Baker The Monster Maker. All in all three and half hours of stories from the world of film. I was in my element.

Edward Norton gives a great insight into Marlon Brando. There’s some chat about Steven Seagal and Above The Law. He chats about his new movie he’s directing and starring in called Motherless Brooklyn. Breaking down of how they got to film a car chase with 1950s cars through the streets of New York City. Talks about the jazz infused soundtrack featuring Wynton Marsalis. Plus lots of anecdotes about directors like Spike Lee, Francis Ford Coppola etc and much much more.

Then you get two hours of the amazing Rick Baker. Joe and Rick chat the Creature from the Black Lagoon ( my review, I do wonder what I was smoking when I first started this blog!). The work of Lon ChaneyRay Harryhausen and other influences on his career. King Kong, Nosferatu, Clash Of The Titans, Michael Jackson’s Thriller and the canteen scene from Star Wars all get a discussed. We find out all about how Rick got started in the business and he is a pure delight to listen to with perfect stories. And of course An American Werewolf in London and it’s metamorphosis went into detail. You know what though I was surprised Rick didn’t remember and mention my input in the effects. I guess he was jealous I was off flirting with Jenny Agutter all the time?

Both these interviews are perfect for the movie fan. I’m sure you will enjoy them as much as I did.

Keep it filmy. All the best… Mikey Wolf

* (space invader) co-workers in my work space. Invading my space!

A Little Tribute To Gary Loggins From The Cracked Rear Viewer Film Site

Cracked Rear Viewer

Just heard the very sad news that Gary Loggins has passed away leaving with him his vast knowledge of film and his legacy of his Cracked Rear Viewer film blog. He was one of the first bloggers to follow me when I started my own venture into blog-land. Gary always had tip top recommendations to fill way too many extra hours of watching time.  I was always in awe at his wealth of information and the time and dedication he regularly put into his posts. He was relentless. A new post would appear every 3 days. Continue reading

Subway (1985) Christopher Lambert, Slap Bass And Bongos Within The Paris Metro – Video Store Action Heroes

Subway (1985) Christopher Lambert Luc Besson movie poster

I knew Christopher Lambert what with his prancing and dancing about in his loincloth! He called the jungle his home and was the self appointed Lord of the Apes, Tarzan (1984). However it wasn’t until his immortal swordsman with that dodgy Scottish accent arrived with the classic action romp, Highlander (1985) that I really clocked his name. So sat there on the shelve in the local video store was the intriguing Subway (1985). With a smartly dressed Christopher Lambert with a shock of white hair and what could only be described as a lightsaber in his hands. Off I went to the counter……….. Continue reading

Lolly-Madonna XXX (1973) Kidnap, Moonshine, Screaming Piggies & Happy Families

Lolly-Madonna XXX (1973) poster kidnap movie artwork

With that wonderfully exploitative title, Lolly-Madonna XXX it really grabs your attention. And to be honest I really didn’t know what I was getting myself involved with. I’d found out pretty early on in the film that the triple X wasn’t there for it’s pornographic nature but in fact it relates to “kiss kiss kiss”. However, don’t get me wrong, this film is still strictly 18 certificate material. Continue reading

City of Fear (1959) Manhunt Panic As Ruthless Savage Convict Escapes With A Deadly Container

City Of Fear (1959) Vince Edwards crime thriller manhunt poster artwork one sheet

The ambulance revved at speed racing down the twisting dirt road. Accelerating through the gears with determination and purpose. What was the emergency? We soon learn this speeding vehicle wasn’t going to an incident, it was escaping one. Inside, two sweating, desperate men yell at each other. Continue reading