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Part of SFFILM at the Drive-In

The Hitch-Hiker

Directed by Ida Lupino

USA | Fiction | 72

4 Oct
Sun, Oct 4 at 9:00 pm


Many, including [Ida] Lupino herself, have called The Hitch-Hiker her best film. It is her only classic noir, a tour-de-force thriller in which agony is externalized in striking camerawork and on-pulse editing. Two Americans on a Mexican fishing trip pick up a hitchhiker, and their car and lives are suddenly commandeered by a psychopathic gunman with one eye that never closes, even in sleep. In the pitiless no-man’s-land of the Mexican desert, they attempt to outwit the unpredictability of evil. The Hitch-Hiker transcends a paranoid cautionary tale about the menace of strangers to focus on the existential crisis of Americans after they have glimpsed the other side. –Judy Bloch, BAMPFA

“Absolutely assured in her creation of the bleak, noir atmosphere – whether in the claustrophobic confines of the car, or lost in the arid expanses of the desert – Lupino never relaxes the tension for one moment. Yet her emotional sensitivity is also upfront: charting the changes in the menaced men’s relationship as they bicker about how to deal with their captor, stressing that only through friendship can they survive. Taut, tough, and entirely without macho-glorification, it’s a gem, with first-class performances from its three protagonists, deftly characterised without resort to cliché.” –Time Out

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Film Details

Language English

Year 1953

Runtime 72

Country USA

Director Ida Lupino

Producer Christian Nyby, Collier Young

Writer Robert L. Joseph, Ida Lupino, Collier Young

Editor Douglas Stewart

Cinematographer Nicholas Musuraca

Music Leith Stevens

Cast Edmond O’Brien, Frank Lovejoy, William Talman

Print Source Kino Lorber