The Hitch-Hiker

71 minutes

Actress Ida Lupino (High Sierra) enjoyed a second career as a director of B movies in the late 40s and early 50s, and this hell-for-leather noir (1953) demonstrates her facility with actors and her flawless pacing. Two pals (Edmond O'Brien and Frank Lovejoy, both excellent) head off for a fishing trip in Mexico but get carjacked south of the border by a fish-eyed serial killer (William Talman, later the DA on the Perry Mason series). There's a subplot in which the authorities close in on the fugitive, but Lupino, who cowrote the script, devotes most of the screen time to the fear, rage, and despair of the two friends, who realize they're marked for death.

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