William Talman, Frank Lovejoy and Edmond O'Brien in 'The Hitch-Hiker' (1953)
William Talman, Frank Lovejoy and Edmond O'Brien in 'The Hitch-Hiker' (1953)
The Hitch-Hiker (1953) RKO Radio Pictures

Presented by the Melbourne Cinémathèque

The Hitch-Hiker

Ida Lupino | USA | 1953 | Unclassified (15+)
Virtual cinema

This event has ended and tickets are no longer available.


22–28 Nov 2021

View online

Set against an extraordinary Californian desert backdrop, a serial killer takes two men hostage, drawing them into a thrilling cat and mouse game.

Initially relegated to B-Movie status, this chilling masterwork of noir has since been re-appraised for Ida Lupino’s masterful control of her predominantly male cast. Stunningly shot by noir royalty Nicholas Musuraca and co-written by Lupino and her ex-husband Collier Young, the film presents one of the most tense, early examinations of masculinity under threat. Produced through Lupino and Young’s own The Filmakers Inc, but distributed through RKO, The Hitch-Hiker is both a landmark of independent cinema and a landmark of film noir, and represents the earliest mainstream entry in the genre to be directed by a woman. With Edmond O’Brien.

The Hitch-Hiker screens with another independent production, Popeye the Sailor Meets Sinbad the Sailor (Dave Fleischer, 1936). Directed by Dave for his and brother Max’s Fleischer Studios, this landmark animated short features the celebrated Popeye battling the Sinbad of Middle Eastern folklore. This short is arguably the best of the original theatrical Popeye cartoons, and is notable both for its early use of lush three-dimensional settings, and for being over twice as long as most other contemporaneous cartoons.

Jacob Agius, Melbourne Cinémathèque, committee member

Format: Digital
Language: English
Source: YouTube
Courtesy: Library of Congress
Duration: 71 mins


71 mins


Unclassified (15+)


The films in this program are available to watch on YouTube:

Popeye the Sailor Meets Sindbad the Sailor
16 mins, G

The Hitch-Hiker
71 mins, Unclassified 15+

Accompanying feature

You might also like