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The Hitch-Hiker
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Genre:Thriller
Year:1953
Rating:NR
Length:1 Hour 10 Minutes
Cast:Ida Lupino, Edmond O'Brien, Frank Lovejoy, William Talman

Daniel Mainwaring took this story right out of the headlines of the day, penning this true story of a mass murderer who was eventually executed in San Quentin's gas chamber. Released during McCarthy's witch-hunt, Mainwaring was not given credit because Howard R. Hughes, who produced it under RKO, refused to give credit to any "radicals." The story is that of two men on a fishing trip who pick up a hitchhiker. He turns out to be a sadistic psychopath who has committed multiple murders, a sociopath who hates humanity because of his own abuse as a child. He also has an affliction which terrifies these two men: an eye which is permanently open, thereby never allowing them to know if he is really asleep or just faking it--something which he does with regularity to scare them...letting them take off and then meeting up with them just as they feel they have escaped from him. A tense thriller skillfully directed by the only female director of the time, Ida Lupino, it is a suspenseful tale of terror on the highways. Tana Hobart

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