“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."
Ray (Edmond O’Brien) and Gilbert’s (Frank Lovejoy) A fishing trip takes a terrifying when the hitchhiker (William Talman) they pick up turns out to be a murderous sociopath on the run from the law. The two friends plot an escape, but the hitchhiker’s peculiar physical affliction (an eye that never closes, even when he sleeps) make it impossible for them to tell when they can make a break for it…
Based on the true crime story of William Cook who murdered six people during a hitchhiking ‘thrill kill’ spree, The Hitch-Hiker is a mere 71 minutes long, shot in stark black and white for the most part on location in the California desert. Lupino, who at the time was the only female director working in Hollywood, took on the project as yet another film that was too ‘hot’ for the major studios to touch.