The Hitch-hiker (1953)

The Hitch-hiker (1953)

Daniel Mainwaring took this story right out of the headlines of the day, penning this true story of a mass murderer who was eventually executed in San Quentin’s gas chamber. Released during McCarthy’s witch-hunt, Mainwaring was not given credit because Howard R. Hughes, who produced it under RKO, refused to give credit to any “radicals.” The story is that of two men on a fishing trip who pick up a hitchhiker. He turns out to be a sadistic psychopath who has committed multiple murders, a sociopath who hates humanity because of his own abuse as a child. He also has an affliction which terrifies these two men: an eye which is permanently open, thereby never allowing them to know if he is really asleep or just faking it–something which he does with regularity to scare them…letting them take off and then meeting up with them just as they feel they have escaped from him. A tense thriller skillfully directed by the only female director of the time, Ida Lupino, it is a suspenseful tale of terror on the highways.

Horror, Science Fiction, Drama
Running time:
Partner rating:
480 (DVD equivalent)

Content service provider: Drelbcom

Cast & Crew


  1. Edmond O’BrienRay Collins

  2. Frank LovejoyGilbert Bowen

  3. William TalmanEmmett Myers

  4. José TorvayCapt. Alvarado

  5. Sam HayesSam

  6. Wendell NilesWendell

  7. Jean del ValInspector General

  8. Clark HowatGovernment Agent

  9. Natividad VacioJose

  10. Rodney BellWilliam Johnson


  1. Ida Lupino


  1. Collier Young
  2. Ida Lupino


  1. Robert L. Joseph

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The Hitch-hiker (1953) video

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