Hitch-Hiker (1953)Directed by Ida Lupino
Ida Lupino acted in a few films, including the horror classic The Devils Rain. But in the 1950s and 1960s, she was virtually the only female professional Director in Hollywood. As noted by Joe Bob Briggs in host segments for "The Devil's Rain," she appeared in a number of "B" movies, and directed films that today would be called cutting-edge.
One such film was The Hitch-Hiker, called the only true "film noir" ever directed by a woman. Critics, and Lupino herself, consider it the best movie she ever directed ... described as "a classic, tension-packed, three-way dance of death." Two middle-class men on a long-planned fishing trip vacation to Mexico feel sorry for a hitch-hiker at the side of a remote road, and pick him up. Suddenly, they find themselves commandeered by pycho serial killer Emmett Myers (a distant relative of Halloween's Michael Myers no doubt). One eye never closes, even when he's asleep - or is he just pretending to be asleep...
The striking light/dark contrasts, the stunning compositions, and the spatial integrity of a determining sense of locale, all contribute mightily to this fascinating and riveting tale. Filmed on location in a pitiless rock-bound, horizonless part of Mexico where even cactus struggles to survive, it stars Edmond O'Brien (of "D.O.A." and Fantastic Voyage) and Frank Lovejoy (of 100% Wierd's Julie) as the tourists, and William Talman as the gun-cradling madman with a bum eye. Fans include director Martin Scorsese, who says, "What is at stake in Lupino's films is the psyche of the victim."
70 minutes, produced by Collier Young, script by Young & Lupino
Ida Lupino films are available on video including Bewitched eps she directed, and
on DVD including the many Twilight Zone eps she directed.
Monstervision review & host segments for The Devils Rain
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Paul Williams (Phantom Of The Paradise) has lived in the Sunset Strip house previously lived in by Ida Lupino for most of his career. It was also previously the home of Howard Duff (Lupino's husband), Orson Welles, Peter Lorre; and was built in 1933 by Sidney Toler (Charlie Chan).
Monster movie description above © Bill Laidlaw. All Rights Reserved. Everything above is true, and I hardly exaggerated that.