The Hitch-hiker (1953) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Hitch-hiker1953

The Hitch-hiker (1953)



Critic Consensus: Simply and sturdily constructed, The Hitch-Hiker consistently derives genuine terror from a chillingly plausible scenario.

The Hitch-hiker Photos

Movie Info

Two men on a fishing trip pick up a psychopathic fugitive with an intense hatred of humanity in this relentlessly suspenseful thriller directed by Ida Lupino and written by Daniel Mainwaring (Invasion of the Body Snatchers). Ray Collins (Edmund O'Brien) and Gilbert Bowen (Frank Lovejoy) are on their way to a relaxing weekend on the lake when they make the fateful mistake of giving a ride to Emmett Myers (William Tallman), a ruthless killer on the run from the cops. As a young child Myers was severely abused, and now he's determined to make the world suffer for the atrocities committed against him. An unrepentant sadist, Myers repeatedly uses his faulty eye (which is permanently open) to trick his two terrified victims into believing they have gained the upper hand in the tense stand-off, only to turn the tables on them at the last second. Inspired by the horrific crimes of real life mass murderer William Cook, who was eventually executed in San Quentin.

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Edmond O'Brien
as Roy Collins
Frank Lovejoy
as Gilbert Bowen
William Talman
as Emmett Myers
José Torvay
as Capt. Alvarado
Jean Del Val
as Inspector General
Clark Howat
as Government Agent
Rodney Bell
as William Johnson
Nacho Galindo
as Proprietor
Tony Roux
as Gas Station Owner
Jerry Lawrence
as News Broadcaster
June Dinneen
as Waitress
Al Ferrara
as Gas Station Attendant
Henry Escalante
as Mexican Guard
Taylor Flaniken
as Mexican Cop
Wade Crosby
as Joe the Bartender
Gordon Barnes
as Hendrickson
Ed Hinton
as Chief of Police
Larry Hudson
as FBI Agent
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Critic Reviews for The Hitch-hiker

All Critics (44) | Top Critics (15)

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 23, 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 23, 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 23, 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 23, 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 23, 2021 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Hitch-hiker

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. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer


A pretty good movie, but it could be better, especially now that there have been so many other movies like this one.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer


Great little Thriller by the only female directors of Hollywood's Golden Age, Ida Lupino. It starts out amazingly and then sort of peters out toward the end, but overall very enjoyable.

Ken Stachnik
Ken Stachnik

Super Reviewer

The Hitch-hiker Quotes

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