The Hitch-Hiker (March 30, 1953)
Released on March 30, 1953: (running time 1 hour and 11 minutes) An escaped killer forces two men on a fishing trip to take him across the Mexican desert in a wild chase from the law.
Produced by Collier Young
Directed by Ida Lupino
Written by Collier Young, Robert L. Joseph, Daniel Mainwaring and Ida Lupino
The Actors: Edmond O'Brien (Roy Collins), Frank Lovejoy (Gilbert Brown), William Talman (Emmett Myers), José Torvay (Captain Alvarado), Sam Hayes (himself, radio broadcaster), Wendell Niles (Wendell Nilest), Jean Del Val (Inspector General), Clark Howat (Government agent), Natividad Vacio (José), Gordon Barnes (Hendrickson), Rodney Bell (William Johnson), Orlando Beltran (salesman), Wade Crosby (bartender Joe), June Dinneen (waitress), Joe Dominguez (unknown), Henry A. Escalante (Mexican guard), Al Ferrara (gas station attendant), Taylor Flaniken (Mexican Cop), Nacho Galindo (José Abarrotes), Martin Garralaga (bartender), Ed Hinton (Chief of Police), Larry Hudson (FBI Agent), Jerry Lawrence (news broadcaster Sam Hayes), George Navarro (salesman), Kathy Riggins (little girl at Abarrotes), Tony Roux (gas station owner), Felipe Turich (man offering help to change the flat tire), Rosa Turich (woman in car with helpful man), Collier Young (sleeping Mexican peon)
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Sometimes a Road Trip can be Murder
Who is the toughest, meanest movie gangster from the golden age of movies? You think it was Humphrey Bogart, or Edward G. Robinson or maybe James Cagney? Sure, they all had iconic gangster roles that made them famous, but there is one tough son-of-a-gun that, for my money, equals the best performances of evil bad-guys, and you probably don't even know his name.
William Talman was born in Detroit, Michigan to a wealthy businessman. He was driven to public school in a chauffeured limousine every day. You might think that this kind of life would make him soft and feeble, but it did not. He claimed that most mornings after the limousine would drive away, he would be forced to fist fight with several tough poor kids that resented his wealth. He became a tough street-fighter thanks to the limousine rides to school.
Fans of old television shows remember him from the Perry Mason show as the District Attorney who could never beat Perry Mason in court. This movie is probably the best movie role he ever got, and he easily convinces us all that he would as soon kill us as talk to us.
William Talman plays the part of a demented killer escaped from prison, and as our adventure opens we watch as he brutally murders a young man and woman in a car that gave him a ride. The next car he flags down for a free ride is a salesman who is soon killed. Now we meet the two men who will soon offer him a ride.
Edmond O’Brien and Frank Lovejoy are two big and bulky actors who could probably kill the hitch hiker with their bare hands, but when the menacing hitch hiker aims his gun at them and displays his utter disregard for life, they know that their lives hang by a string, and that they are his next murder victims.
Fortunately, our demented killer needs the two men to help him get into Mexico to a town where he can ferry across to the Baja Peninsula. This will give the two men who only wanted a relaxing weekend fishing trip a couple of extra days to live. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.
Frank Lovejoy and Edmond O'Brien
Frank Lovejoy and Wade Crosby
Jean Del Val
Wade Crosby and William Talman
William Talman and Frank Lovejoy