Directed by Ida Lupino • 1953 • United States
Starring Edmond O’Brien, Frank Lovejoy, William Talman
Beyond its obvious cultural significance as the only classic film noir directed by a woman, this is simply one of the most nightmarish motion pictures of the 1950s. Inspired by the true-life murder spree of Billy Cook, THE HITCH-HIKER is the tension-laden saga of two men on a camping trip (Edmond O'Brien and Frank Lovejoy) who are held captive by a homicidal drifter (William Talman) who forces them, at gunpoint, to embark on a grim joyride across the Mexican desert. Renegade filmmaking at its finest, THE HITCH-HIKER was independently produced, which allowed Lupino and ex-husband/producer Collier Young to work from a treatment by blacklisted writer Daniel Mainwaring and tackle an incident that was too brutal for the major studios to even consider.