Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Hitch-Hiker (Blu-ray Review) - Kino

Directed By: Ida Lupino
Written By: Collier Young, Ida Lupino, Robert L. Joseph, Daniel Mainwaring
Starring: Edmond O'Brien, Frank Lovejoy, William Talman
Black & White/71 Minutes/Not Rated
Region A

The Film
A pair of friends set out on a camping trip when they pick up a hitch-hiker named Emmett Myers, a despicable man on the run from the law and responsible for a double murder. Myers takes the pair captive and into Mexico in an effort to evade capture. What ensues is several days of hell for the men as they're held hostage and abused by the gun wielding maniac of a man. 

THE HITCH-HIKER is based on the murder spree of Billy Cook who killed 6 people over a 22 day span in 1950-51. This film is perhaps most recognized for being the only classic noir that is directed by a woman. The film is deserving of more than just "being made by a woman". This is a fairly cruel story and is certainly well made. The Mexican desert settings leave you feeling the sweat bead off your forehead and you desperately want our antagonists to escape and perhaps turn the table on Myers. 

The film is briskly paced and clocks in at only 71 minutes which make for a brief but dark look into the hell faced by a pair of friends trying to do a good deed. THE HITCH-HIKER isn't a top tier noir but it is well made, well acted and a thrilling ride. 

The Audio & Video
Kino Lorber brings THE HITCH-HIKER to Blu-ray disc courtesy of their Kino Classics line. The film has been beautifully restored from a 35mm elements archived at the Library of Congress. The full frame 1.33:1 transfer maintains the film's original aspect ratio and looks great. Black levels are deep while textures look great. The audio track is crisp and well mixed with the soundtrack. There is no background noise or pops which makes the A/V of this disc pretty damn good. 

The Extras
A still gallery and Kino trailers are the lone extras on the disc.

The Bottom Line
From the film to the technical presentation of this disc I couldn't help but recommend this one highly.


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