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“My folks were tough. When I was born, they took one look at this puss of mine and told me to get lost.” You might have asked, “How tough were they?” But he didn’t wait for the question before giving his answer. Join this episode’s Grue-Crew – Whitney Collazo, Chad Hunt, Daphne Monary-Ernsdorff, Joseph Perry, and Jeff Mohr – as they discuss this terrifying, and dare we say, “horror-adjacent” film noir directed by Ida Lupino, The Hitch-Hiker (1953).
Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 102 – The Hitch-Hiker (1953)
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Two fishermen pick up a psychotic escaped convict who tells them that he intends to murder them when the ride is over.IMDb
- Cast and Crew:
- Director: Ida Lupino
- Writers: Collier Young & Ida Lupino (screenplay), Robert L. Joseph (as Robert Joseph) (adaptation), Daniel Mainwaring (uncredited)(story)
- Cinematography by: Nicholas Musuraca (director of photography)
- Edmond O’Brien as Roy Collins
- Frank Lovejoy as Gilbert Bowen
- William Talman as Emmett Myers
- José Torvay as Captain Alvarado
- Wendell Niles as Himself (Radio Announcer).
- Jean Del Val as Inspector General
- Clark Howat as Government Agent
- Natividad Vacío as Jose
- Rodney Bell as William Johnson
The Hitch-Hiker is Whitney’s pick and a great pick it is. Her reasoning? She wanted to explore the relationship between film noir and horror, it is based on true events (really!), and she wanted to learn more about Ida Lupino. She also loves the aesthetic of the landscape and the characters. Daphne loves the look and feel of The Hitch-Hiker calling it a great, beautiful movie. A videotape from Sinister Cinema was Joseph’s introduction to the film as he made a side trip into films noir during the early 1990s, and he likes The Hitch-Hiker quite a bit. Jeff is a big fan of noir films and loves The Hitch-Hiker for the tension built by the filmmakers. His personal find in this movie is character actor José Torvay. You may want to check this episode out on the Gruesome Magazine YouTube channel.
Your Classic Era Grue-Crew is universally impressed with Ida Lupino’s direction, Nicholas Musuraca’s cinematography, the script, and the cast’s performances. Whether or not you think The Hitch-Hiker is horror (or at least horror-adjacent), its nail-biting tension can’t be denied. As of this writing, The Hitch-Hiker is available to stream on Amazon Prime and on physical media as a Blu-ray from KL Studio Classics.
Gruesome Magazine’s Decades of Horror: The Classic Era records a new episode every two weeks. Up next on their very flexible schedule is one chosen by Jeff, The Most Dangerous Game (1932).
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