HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Perfect 10
Octaman
Red Penguins
China Syndrome, The
Babyteeth
Round-Up, The
Around the Sun
Once There Was Brasilia
Peripheral
Dead Pigeon on Beethoven Street
Ice
She Demons
Good Girls, The
Hail, Hero!
Faces in the Crowd
Tamango
Traitor, The
Tomorrow
Third Generation, The
Saxon Charm, The
Spy Intervention
Moonrise
Mulan
Killer with a Thousand Eyes, The
Vigil, The
Liberation of L.B. Jones, The
Wizard of Baghdad, The
Ride
Good Manners
Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo
Sweet Home
Big Score, The
Siddhartha
Three Outlaw Samurai
Echoes of Fear
Guinea Pig, The
Truth, The
Good Die Young, The
Old Guard, The
Gumnaam
   
 
Newest Articles
Eve Knew Her Apples: The Lady Eve on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Tempo - Gallery One
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 1 - Welcome Once Again to Manchester!
Transformative Apocalypses: Phase IV and Southland Tales
The Happiest Days of Their Lives: The Guinea Pig on Blu-ray
Faced Poe: Three Edgar Allan Poe Adaptations Starring Bela Lugosi on Blu-ray
Hard Luck, Buster: The Cameraman on Blu-ray
At the Hop: Mr. Vampire on Blu-ray
Divine Madness: Female Trouble on Blu-ray
Country Matters: Further Out of Town on Blu-ray
Bat-Damn: Was Joel Schumacher's Batman Really That Bad?
The Beat Goes On: Takeshi Kitano Collection on Blu-ray
Dream Treats: Scorsese Shorts on Blu-ray
It's Only Money: Laughter in Paradise on Blu-ray
A Regular Terpsichore: Dance, Girl, Dance on Blu-ray
Teenage Trauma: Baby Love on Blu-ray
The Happening: Pet Shop Boys It Couldn't Happen Here on Blu-ray
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
I Can See for Miles: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes on Blu-ray
   
 
  Hitch-Hiker, The A Journey To Regret
Year: 1953
Director: Ida Lupino
Stars: Edmond O'Brien, Frank Lovejoy, William Talman, José Torvay, Sam Hayes, Wendell Niles, Jean Del Valle, Clark Howat, Natividad Vacío
Genre: ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 2 votes)
Review: The news reports are filled with sensational bulletins of mass murderer Emmett Myers (William Talman) making his way across the Southern states of America, and killing those who innocently pick him up mistaking him for a hitch-hiker whose only intention is to get a ride somewhere along the road. He has already killed three people in cold blood and as far as the police know is not willing to give up his life of crime; they correctly believe Myers is travelling to Mexico, but the question remains who it is who will pick him up next...

The answer being two husbands in a fishing trip, Roy Collins (Edmond O'Brien) and Gilbert Bowen (Frank Lovejoy), who are making their way south of the border and happen to pick up Myers who doesn't take long to pull a gun on them from the back seat, plunging them into a number of days of sheer, worsening hell. When this film is mentioned these days it is down to the person behind the camera calling the shots, for she was Ida Lupino, formerly a fairly big star herself but once the roles began to dry up she took an unusual for the day career turn into direction, meaning at the time she was the sole female director in Hollywood, in the United States even. This has lent her a fascination that Dorothy Arzner of the previous era attracted.

But what was interesting about Lupino was that she didn't always direct what were commonly regarded as "women's pictures", the sort of thing where the female lead suffered glamorously for an hour and a half for the ladies in the audience to appreciate, as before she gave up the movies for television it was the tough, uncompromising Hitch-Hiker which was her signature work. Even when she did opt for the small screen, she wasn't directing the daytime soaps with episodes of The Untouchables and The Fugitive to her credit, plus a Twilight Zone to boot. There was very little demure about this effort, with barely a female character in it, and an inexorable sense of dread and harrowing endurance in every frame.

Worryingly this was based on a true story of an actual mass killer who operated much in the way Myers does here, and there's a title card which warns you of this, engendering a paranoia in the late night driver who sees a figure standing by the side of the road, thus probably leaving quite a few innocent unfortunates without transport. In the eighties, this idea was used to even greater effect in The Hitcher, which was more of a horror movie than Lupino intended for her work here, in spite of the presence of a murderous psychopath in the cast of characters. O'Brien and Lovejoy played the ordinary folks to the hilt, however, playing up the contrast between the decency of the common man and the aberration that Myers represented.

At least you would hope it was an aberration, because the thought of more than one or two Myers wandering the highways was an uncomfortable one, seeing nothing beyond his aggressive self-interest and the violent methods of getting his own way. As the film progresses, he gets up to such maniac tricks as forcing his two reluctant companions into a sharpshooting match, with Roy holding the can Gil has to fire at, and his control exerts a sinister influence throughout for as long as he is holding the gun - they and we know that he's quite prepared to use it - he can pretty much treat the two men how he likes. With such quirks as one half-paralysed eye which never closes when he sleeps (a weirdly nightmarish image) and a resistance to anyone speaking Spanish, Myers is content to bully his victims as long as they get him where he wants to go. The overall mood is one of grinding psychological torture, not perhaps as extreme as such thrillers would become, but undoubtedly setting the scene for relentless movie psychopaths ever after. Music by Leith Stevens.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3161 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (2)
Posted by:
Stephanie Anderson
Date:
18 Jan 2013
  This is why I don't pick up hitch-hikers. It's a great movie though. Some of the camera work early on is great.
       
Posted by:
Graeme Clark
Date:
18 Jan 2013
  Yeah, the whole look of the film where they pick up the hitcher at first is terrifically ominous, and rightly so as you find out.
       


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: