The Hitch-Hiker (1953)


“I had a watch like this once when I was 17. Nobody gave it to me. I just took it. ” – Emmett

Number of Times Seen – 1 (10 Mar 2019)

Brief Synopsis – Two fisherman pick up a hitchhiker who informs them that he will murder them.

My Take on it – This is a film that I knew absolutely nothing about before watching it and was quiet surprised at how good a job they managed to do with it.

Films that deal with psychological torture weren’t as common back when this was made and despite needed to do this in a very subtle manner, they succeed in keeping things quite poignant and impactful.

This film also manages to use the dialogue to raise the level of the psychological tension throughout since we never know what is going to end up happening since they all do unexpected things throughout.

This film is proof that even back in the early 50’s, they were capable of making effective psychological crime thrillers that relied more on the dialogue and subtle story than on trying to shock and awe.

Bottom Line – Interesting premise that is presented quite well especially given the fact that this was made in an era when these kind of films were done very subtly, but this one is quite effective in keeping the psychological tension quite high.  The dialogue is great and they manage to use it to help raise the level of suspense since we never know what the characters will do next.  Proves that a premise like this can be extremely effective even when shown in such a subtle and thrilling way. Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – In an interview, Talman recalled an incident that happened shortly after the release of The Hitch-Hiker (1953), in which he gave a chilling portrayal of escaped murderer and serial killer Emmett Meyers. He was driving his convertible in Los Angeles with the top down, and he stopped at a red light. Another driver in a convertible who was stopped next to him stared at him for a few seconds, then said, “You’re the hitchhiker, right?” Talman nodded, indicating that he was. The other driver got out of his car, went over to Talman’s car and slapped him across the face, then got back in his car and drove off. In recalling the story, Talman said, “You know, I never won an Academy Award but I guess that was about as close as I ever will come to one.” (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy (8/10)

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One thought on “The Hitch-Hiker (1953)

  1. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1953 | MovieRob

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