Beyond its obvious cultural significance as the only classic film noir directed by a woman (actress Ida Lupino), The Hitch-hiker is perhaps better remembered as simply one of the most nightmarish motion pictures of the 1950s. Inspired by the true-life murder spree of Billy Cook, The Hitch-hiker is the tension-laden saga of two men on a camping trip (Edmond O'Brien and Frank Lovejoy) who are held captive by a homicidal drifter (William Talman). He forces them, at gunpoint, to embark on a grim joyride across the Mexican desert.
Renegade filmmaking at its finest, The Hitch-hiker was independently produced, which allowed Lupino and ex-husband/producer Collier Young to work from a treatment by blacklisted writer Daniel Mainwaring, and tackle an incident that was too brutal for the major studios to even consider. -- Kino Lorber