The Hitch-Hiker is not only a great atypical noir, trading dark city streets for open desert roads, it also bridges the gap between the western and the road movie, the latter being the evolution and reflection of the former - to borrow Jean-Baptiste Thoret's theory. The land has been invaded by asphalt, horses have been replaced by automobiles, and there are no more frontiers to escape to.
Lupino seems to have been a cool chick that took on projects that no one else didn't dare to touch. Studio heads hated it too so the film ended up in public domain but film lovers like you and me have rescued it back to glory. This story and film seems to have been copied to death in million of thrillers afterwards.
Unique trespass of a 'male' genre by Ida Lupino, this noir thriller impresses with its economy, the abstinence from excessive expressionist effects and with its cinematically eloquent subversion of much of American cinema's androcentric Logos. The gun fetishism is demolished all right and the non-macho 'soft' male abductees are a welcome deviation. Beautifully shot, it includes an 'impressive' villain.
The pot was thoroughly boiled! There's something genuinely chilling in its economy of style. A testimony to the heroism of softness and the importance for English speakers to learn a secondary language. A hearty three stars. Note: The synopsis incorrectly identifies the hitchhiker was being "psychotic" - he is not experiences psychosis and those who do are generally a far greater danger to themselves than others.
A claustrophobic movie from beginning to end. You can feel the heat and tension building and it manages to cleverly pull you in, to make you look for chances where the men could maybe have taken the gun from the Hitch-Hikers grasp. All told, a wonderful film for its time and still a joy to watch today, a good suspenseful thriller skillfully put together.
It's a respectable noir. Though I'd sooner describe it as Jack Kerouac's omitted heroin withdrawal chapter from On The Road. The eras strange glorification of psychos as American 'rogues' and 'outlaws' is a bit hard to take seriously in this film, but the overall acting is fine and Mexico in the early 50's makes for a treat.
Excellent B-Noir thanks to Lupino´s direction. The long introduction without dialogues is a great exemple of what talkies can take from the silent era into modern filmmaking : using suggestion and action outside the scope to tell a story. The rest is almost hitchcockian. With limited space and only three characters, the tension never slows down. Great work from Musuraca (cinematography), solid acting.
A throwback to earlier noir, with little action, shootouts or car chases. It's all psychological, with the tension coming from the devil-like hitchhiker with the paralyzed eye, the remote hills, rocks and buzzards portending desperation and possible doom. Lupino, one of the best crime directors of her day, tellingly has little use for women in this film. She's a director of men, some soft, some hard, all angry.