Jump to content

 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
Dr. Rich Edwards

Daily Dose of Darkness #18: Keep Driving (Scene from The Hitch-Hiker)

Recommended Posts

Escape and survival are definite themes in The Hitch-Hiker. The hitch-hiker is possibly fleeing from law enforcement, thus he seeks an escape via his now hostages in a car. The two hostages are thrust into escape/survival mode due to being held and threatened by the hitch-hiker. All three characters are linked by a domino effect: hitch-hiker needs to escape so he forces two men to "help" him do so. The two hostages are in escape mode due to the hitch-hiker holding a gun, forcing them to comply.

 

The lighting in this film is absolutely superb! The shadow that has fallen over the hitch-hiker's face as he sits in the backseat is indicative of a villainous character. We know he's bad news. And the hitch-hiker's reveal is just as great. After being asked if he would "like a smoke," the hitch-hiker replies "no" and raises a gun into the light. It's confirmed, he's the villain.

 

However, we still don't know who this man is just yet. The waiting and unknowing is typically the most sinister aspect of any film, and it's a perfect element of film noir. The hitch-hiker comes out of the dark and into the light revealing his face. Here, the music fades, and we are left with only the sounds of the hitch-hiker's demands. This is extremely effective because the film forces us to take it all in, sort of like an almost knock-out punch. We're fearful for the two men as the tension will only mount more and more for the duration of the film.

 

Kiss Me Deadly and The Hitch-Hiker both have characters shrouded in darkness. We don't yet see Christina and The hitch-hiker when the films first open, we only receive a mere glimpse of a part of them. Both characters are also hitchhiking, likely fleeing from someone, and harbor ulterior motives after being picked up. Both openings work extremely well because we are thrust right into the action and plot of each story. And each film contains the classic elements inhabiting the style, lighting, and darkness of the night, which ultimately will knock on fate's door of doom.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hitchhiking has always been a useful story-telling device in that it is an effective way to create an immediate atmosphere of fear and foreboding. In movies and books it seems that nothing good ever comes from picking up a hitchhiker. Every time a thumb goes up and a car pulls over, you know trouble is going to start - and that's why you keep watching.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's something depressing and unnerving about seeing a supposed good deed (picking up someone who needs a ride) being "rewarded" with such violence.

 

Unlike other noirs where our protagonists have at least one transgression counting against them (a la "I did something wrong, once"), these guys don't seem to have committed a misdeed that would have set them on the path to their doom.

 

In other noirs, we cringe as we watch characters make mistakes or commit one foul deed, knowing that it will be their downfall. Even if we like them as people, it's still like "Oh, man. He agreed to be part of the robbery. He's toast!".

 

This is a different kind of fatalism. It's one in which violence can come across your path without you having done anything direct to invite it (I say "direct" because others are saying the two men might have been traveling for less than upstanding reasons, albeit maybe legal ones).

 

There's something sad about morality tales where we know that people we like are doomed because of their poor decisions. But there's something terrifying about the idea that you can be doomed just because.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love the way Lupino builds in hopelessness and tension with dark lighting, dark desolate side roads, and, bilingual characters. Surely the Spanish speaking victim would find a way to say "Help, call the police after we've left," without causing alarm in either character. Lupino escalates the tension as each character encounters disability (his ankle is injured). Spoiler Alert; The final scene was unexpected when one victim sympathizes with the villian and walks him out to the cop car without incident. Why does he do an about face and have no hate for his captor? Perhaps we're all caught up in our own madness and confusion that tends to monopolize us at times. Most of us can contain our helplessness, but others of us need meds and cognitive therapy. Life was never meant to be easy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having just watched the opening scene from Kiss Me Deadly immediately before watching this scene from The Hitch-Hiker, I was struck by how different the two scenes are, despite the similarities between them.  On the surface, they have many things in common.  Both scenes involve picking up a hitchhiker from a darkened street, both of who are trying to make an escape and harboring a dark secret.  Both scenes also set a menacing atmosphere for the film to follow, but it is here that I feel they begin to diverge in an important way.

 

Kiss Me Deadly’s opening scene is all about confusion and nothing being what it seems.  Christina is never a shadowy figure in this scene; she is always illuminated, even when it seems that there shouldn't be a light source shining directly on her.  In fact, she appears to be trying to escape the darkness.  The audience doesn’t suspect that she is possibly a danger herself until it is revealed that she escaped from the institution, which is another way the film pulls the rug out from under the viewers’ feet in this opening scene.  This scene very clearly lets the audience know that anything can happen in the story that is to follow.

 

The Hitch-Hiker, on the other hand, sets a very different tone while bring us into a dangerous world.  From the moment we see a man’s legs, the lighting and music let us know that he is dangerous.  Even the glare of the oncoming headlights doesn’t illuminate him for the audience.  Even in the car, he is a dark shadow, an ominous presence, in the backseat.  The first time anything about him becomes clear, it is the glint of light off of his gun that we see.  He enters the light to take charge of the car, but soon sinks back into an eerie half-light, where half of his face is illuminated and the other is in total blackness, suggesting some kind of split in the man.  For the rest of the scene, he prefers the shadows, only coming out of them when he needs something.  Unlike Kiss Me Deadly, it is clear from where the danger is coming in The Hitch-Hiker.  It is random chance that drew these men into this criminal’s path, and, as others have pointed out, they are being punished for doing a good deed; this world is unfair, but it is less chaotic than that world in Kiss Me Deadly.  At least in this film the audience knows where they stand.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Hitch-Hiker couldn't start off any darker or windier. We are taken in this movie to a place in the dead of night, with no lights anywhere with the exception of the headlights of the approaching car. Again, like Out of the Past and Kiss Me Deadly, we have no idea where we are. No street signs, no homes, not even a token gas station. Just a big old black pile of doom, a gun, and three men.

 

The first glimpse of our criminal is his dark hitch-hiker thumb (crime number 1). It's really a shadow within the dark, if that's possible, only outlined by the headlights. He is not facing us here nor do we get a glimpse of him when he enters the car which has stopped for him, because he is still completely in shadow. This is very reminiscent of Bogart in Dark Passage where we don't see him while we see him. When we finally are introduced to him in the bright light as he leans forward, he spits out his whole entire name, like he's some sort of star in that spotlight. He carries a very Duke Mantee bravado with his presence.

 

Unlike Kiss Me Deadly, we have no agonizing female in the clip, in fact there is no female at all. Like Kiss Me Deadly, we are in a car with total strangers in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night..... but we are no third (or fourth) wheel tonight. No, we have guns pointed in our faces (crime number 2), we are being robbed (crime number 3), and who knows what other evil is about to unfold (crime number...... we lost count).

 

This is a desperate criminal, one who doesn't care who he takes down in his blaze of glory. I suspect though, that he's righting some kind of wrong. Something that in his mind is more than justifiable and good.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thematically, Kiss Me Deadly, and Hitch-Hiker are similar in location (desolate empty desert highway), the picking up of a stranger, and the encountering of a possible absurd fate or circumstance. However, Kiss Me Deadly is a sensory punch of frantic paranoid action, with amplified sound of the girls breathing and cry.  On the other hand, Hitch-Hiker is a medium pace arrival at tension. The viewer has been duped. Well, not really. The title gives away the fact that there is something about the hitch-hiker we should be wary of, and the only way you would be blindsided by the nature of the stranger is if you had no idea what the title was or what film noir was about. 

 

Either way, in Hitch-Hiker we have a destruction of the illusion of the American bliss and cavalier attitude. Two men are on a fishing trip with camping gear ready to "take it easy" from the stresses of the daily grind in America. What's more American than two buddies headed out on a fishing trip? What is more wholesome and pure? But nothing will be as trying as the situation they find themselves in now. They are up against a professional criminal. Here the criminal is alone, not part of a mob-not part of a syndicate of g-men that will have is back. There is no hero here, and a no private dick to play the anti-hero. This time your average joe is going to get a crack at that role and see what he's made of.

 

Typically you have these hero roles played by characters who have an established disconnect with society-an above the law attitude. They've been around the block too many times and won't be fooled too easily. They maintain a moral compass, but walk the edge of performing the crime themselves. These two fishermen are not that at all. They are not about to become criminals. They aren't living their lives in isolation, but here they are confronted with a man who is. This man symbolizes a darker side of society, and all the things that lead a person to lead the darker life.

 

Roy and Gil are not blind to this aspect of life, but as Porfirio mentioned in his article, "No Way Out", it is just like Americans to be blind to the hefty toll man's inhumanity to man has taken on the Non-American world. The war that is being waged on our turf isn't a world war, but a subcultural, moral and ethical dilemma, bringing in to question the reason for continuing life as it is. If we can no longer turn an eye, or as good, hard working people, are going to be confronted and used so easily by this criminal underbelly, then what good is it to continue? 

 

Stylistically the movies are shot similarly. However, I almost expected the hitch-hikers hand to already have a knife in it. The car does trap the viewer with Roy and Gil. The definition of the space and universe of the car, and angular qualities of the hitch-hiker are lit by a floor light that is evident as the camera shifts to an over the shoulder shot of all the men in the car from behind. We switch back and forth while in the car to this kind of shot as a way for the camera help define the space. Then again, as Roy and Gil are at the trunk of the car, we still see the over the shoulder shot from behind the hitch-hiker. To me the switch from the silhouette of the hitch-hiker to the front shot and back are designed to keep you feeling mysterious. Is this really happening? Does this dream have shape and form? or is it just shadows on the cave wall. 

 

Finally, the desert settings have always reminded me of the arid psychological dreamscapes of a Salvador Dali painting. From films like Petrified Forrest, to Hitch-Hiker and Kiss Me Deadly, to the remote highway of the small town in Out of the Past and many more, the Dali-esque staging is one of suggesting the subconscious mind. Seriously, what kind of ego does it take to be such devoted criminal? Or is it superego? Here you have the confrontation of 3 ego's. A match in scruples, restraint, and logic, vs. the unbridled aggression and illogical nature of the superego. There is a level of "crazy" in that aspect of our hitch-hiker. The same possible crazy in Kiss Me Deadly with Christina's character. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Today's clip from "The Hitch-Hiker" is fascinating in comparison to yesterday's "Kiss Me Deadly." Both involve hitchhikers on a lonely road, but where yesterday we had a terrorized figure being picked up by someone with seemingly no empathy but who turned out to be entirely in control, today we have a figure who terrorizes others, picked up by good samaritans who immediately lose control to this stranger.

 

This contrast is strengthened visually but the fact that, although both scenes take place on a dark road at night, Christina was seen fairly brightly lit, while Emmett is clothed in the deepest shadow, even after he gets in the car. His gun emerges into the light before his face does. Can there be any question that he is a figure of evil?

 

The lighting in this scene is remarkable. For the most part it seems to come from limited natural sources (the dashboard, a flashlight) that heighten the sense of fear. Who hasn't driven in a car at night on a lonely road with just such lights, being the only respite from the surrounding darkness? Maybe you've even fantasized about something jumping out of that darkness. I think the filmmakers were counting on such memories to work with the lighting and shot selection to put the audience right in that car when something bad does emerge from the shadows.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What are some of the major themes and/or ideas introduced in the opening sequence of The Hitch-Hiker?

 

Two buddies on a fishing trip make the mistake of picking up a hitch-hiker along a lonely roadside, the anti It Happened One Night. One mistake and your on the way to Noirsville. The idea is that an act of kindness can send your whole world into the crapper.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Discuss the role of lighting and staging in this scene, and how lighting and staging both work to reveal the underlying substance of film noir?

 

We see two feet standing at night, they wear men's shoes, it's along a rural highway, there are no curbs. An ill wind is blowing, maybe its a Santa Anna wind, a hot wind off the desert. Tumble weeds and debris bounce off the feet and are gone. Just showing the feet leaves a disquieting impression, who do they belong to?, why aren't we given the whole picture? Something is off, something is being hidden from us, we are not given all the information we need.

 

A car approaches and we see the man facing away from us, he is still hidden. he extends the universal sign for hitch hiking an up pointing thumb. The car stops he gets into the back seat but is face is still hidden in shadow, we still are shrouded in mystery, but our two good Samaritans are well lit. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Compare and contrast the opening scenes of Kiss Me Deadly and The Hitch-Hiker? What is similar between the two? What is different? Why do these openings both work as excellent examples of how to open a film noir?

 

In Kiss Me Deadly we two naked feet running, in flight, in fear, in Hitch-Hike we see two feet planted firmly as if with a purpose. They are similar in that they (both sequences) withhold information from the viewers, and they are both at night.

 

They are excellent examples of how to open a Film Noir because rather that reveal all they hide info, they hit us with the unfamiliar rather than the expected.,  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Compare and contrast the opening scenes of Kiss Me Deadly and The Hitch-Hiker? What is similar between the two? What is different? Why do these openings both work as excellent examples of how to open a film noir?

 

-They are both at night, one lady is running on the road, the other a man is waiting on the side of the road. Both beginnings draw the viewer in to the scene and film, both scenes take place at night.

 

Discuss the role of lighting and staging in this scene, and how lighting and staging both work to reveal the underlying substance of film noir?

 

-Something more is going on then what we see on screen. Other then a few angles of the hitch hiker it could have been shot in the studio. With Kiss me Deadly, it was shot on location.

 

What are some of the major themes and/or ideas introduced in the opening sequence of The Hitch-Hiker?

-Do not be a hero

-Do not pick up strangers

-Its always night when the driver picks up someone

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This  opening scene is spine chilling, to say the least.  Years ago, around 1959, my Mother and my Aunt were driving down town toward home.  Being from a small town everyone knows everyone else.  When they stopped at the stop sign/red light, a man standing on the corner jumped into the back seat.  In shock, they both gasped and asked where was he going.  Stating where, my Aunt promptly said they weren't going that way.  They didn't know the man and we hadn't known of any such thing ever happening in our small town before.  Scary, it was the topic of conversation for many years to come.  The doors weren't locked and the man didn't know them either but seemed to get the idea, when they stopped at the corner, they were doing so to give him a ride, not for the red light.,

 

In the meantime.....this is a classic NOIR SCARE!!!  TO SAY THE LEAST!!!

 

Keep your doors locked and don't stop for anyone, especially in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night.,

 

 

#NOIRSUMMER

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's something depressing and unnerving about seeing a supposed good deed (picking up someone who needs a ride) being "rewarded" with such violence.

 

 

I've been blogging my reactions to the movies I watch(I won't go so far as to call them all 'reviews'), and there are a couple of metaphors and angles I keep coming back to. I keep thinking of noir as a physical place, not just a concept. A purgatory of sorts where our heroes and villains are forced to repeat the same damning actions over and over, in a universe there is no exit from. It seems, in a lot of noir, like if you tried to leave the city you'd just re-enter from the other side. It's also enforced by the fact that in many film noir there only seems to be a half dozen or so characters that keep popping up, played by character actors we've seen in other movies doing similar things.

 

I've also been comparing noir to Japanese horror films, or body horror. The Japanese horror film connection is that the noir aspects of the film can often seem like a Japanese ghost; transferred from character to character almost like a physical disease, and almost impossible to cure. Movies like Woman on the Run, Deadline at Dawn, Where Danger Lives, The Set-Up, Desperate, they all feature heroes who are mostly innocent yet thrust into a noir film by their association with someone who isn't.

 

The body horror connection is a bit of a stretch, but you can see it in films like Desperate, where the noir aspects come on subtly and change not only the tone of the film(which begins as a domestic comedy, and returns there every once in awhile) but also the moral character of our hero, who begins to slowly compromise his morals as the film pushes him further and further into a noir sensibility. There's also films like Cornered, or Where Danger Lives, where the heroes have legitimate medical concerns that impact their decision making and compromise them throughout the course of the movies.

 

I suppose the big takeaway here is... I love horror movies.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A beginning that sets the mood of despair and doom from start. By lightning and shadow effects what is revealed is evil. The gun, the face in the same slowburning dramatic way. We are caught by the raw unease tension, it makes us feel bad, expecting the worst. Brilliant. Sad noirish message, do not trust anyone, especially not strangers. We can feel the hudlums' disrespect to life, It is worth nothing. The bypassers do not, to our knowledge, in any way deserve what is coming to them, maybe not so noirish? Somebody else did mention this, noteworthy, but then I haven't seen the whole movie.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Danger is the theme here. First of all the drivers may be just going on a hunting trip or they could be up to no good. Based on the clip only we have no idea what is going on and it is left up to our imagination which is always in overdrive with noir movies. We know that it is night time and there is always an element of suspense in the dark and when you are outside it's even better because you can't flip a switch for clarity. The flashlights add wonderful shadow and only reveal a small area of information.

Kiss Me Deadly and Hitch-Hiker have the same setting of late night surprise and suspicion. They are both shot on dark roads in the middle of nowhere. However, they have many differences. The Hitch-Hiker has all men in the sequence which changes the element of fear. While they are quiet possibly in grave danger they are not completely helpless in appearance as Christina was in Kiss me Deadly.

There is also the difference of know where the danger is coming from. We see the danger with our own eyes with the men but we don't get to see him actually chasing  her and so the desperation level is much greater. She is running from a cruel darkness and the men are facing it head on.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I liked the fact that you never saw the hitchhiker's face until well into the scene. That made him seem even scarier. When he did show his face, though, it was almost a letdown. Maybe they should have picked a scarier-looking guy, I almost laughed when I saw this ordinary looking fellow, even with a gun. But I did feel bad for the two fellows who were just trying to help him.

 

It's interesting how much film has changed from then to today. Today's action heroes would have made mincemeat of the guy and sent him off crying.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Compare and contrast the opening scenes of Kiss Me Deadly and The Hitch-Hiker? What is similar between the two? What is different? Why do these openings both work as excellent examples of how to open a film noir?

 

Besides the mood of fear, disruption, and uncertainty, as well as the night shooting and the feet shot, the differences in these scenes are much more pronounced than the similarties, and we know immediately that we will be looking at two fundamentally stories and  different approaches to the narrative. 

 

The woman's enterning the car is an escape (perhaps temporarily)  from danger and has the effect of slowing down the narrative, while the hitchhiker's entrance is the very event creating the threat to the fishermen and instantly gets the ball rolling.  We see no further action in Hammer's car after the pickup as the credits roll, and formalistic tropes predominate--i.e., the static back head seat shot under the credits and the woman's pathetic gasping/weeping with no further dialogue until the roadblock.  By the end of the scene, we  still have no idea where the story will lead.  The hitchhiker immediately jumps into the narrative as the dialogue in the car gives us a clear idea of where we are going. 

 

Both scenes work as great noir openings as each, in its own way, creates the noir mood of anxiety and dread while suggesting noir themes of social breakdown and chaos.     

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been blogging my reactions to the movies I watch(I won't go so far as to call them all 'reviews'), and there are a couple of metaphors and angles I keep coming back to. I keep thinking of noir as a physical place, not just a concept. A purgatory of sorts where our heroes and villains are forced to repeat the same damning actions over and over, in a universe there is no exit from. It seems, in a lot of noir, like if you tried to leave the city you'd just re-enter from the other side. It's also enforced by the fact that in many film noir there only seems to be a half dozen or so characters that keep popping up, played by character actors we've seen in other movies doing similar things.

 

I've also been comparing noir to Japanese horror films, or body horror. The Japanese horror film connection is that the noir aspects of the film can often seem like a Japanese ghost; transferred from character to character almost like a physical disease, and almost impossible to cure. Movies like Woman on the Run, Deadline at Dawn, Where Danger Lives, The Set-Up, Desperate, they all feature heroes who are mostly innocent yet thrust into a noir film by their association with someone who isn't.

 

The body horror connection is a bit of a stretch, but you can see it in films like Desperate, where the noir aspects come on subtly and change not only the tone of the film(which begins as a domestic comedy, and returns there every once in awhile) but also the moral character of our hero, who begins to slowly compromise his morals as the film pushes him further and further into a noir sensibility. There's also films like Cornered, or Where Danger Lives, where the heroes have legitimate medical concerns that impact their decision making and compromise them throughout the course of the movies.

 

I suppose the big takeaway here is... I love horror movies.

Nice observation of noir as a physical place with the same character actors  showing up in multiple films. Same sets too. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been on road trips when we decided to drive through the high desert at night in order to avoid the daytime heat. The desert can be extremely eerie at night. Our greatest fear was that the car would break down in the middle of nowhere. But then, putting that aside, we'd roll down the windows, feel the cool air coming in and pop open a real coke bottle. All was good.

 

As I watched the opening scene of The Hitch-Hiker I was harshly reminded that times changed quickly back in the 1950's. People, of course, change as well and, unfortunately, not always for the better. It was a generation that produced a great many advances but was also a very insecure one. The family unit was splitting, crime was on the rise and the fear of the Cold War's threats were very real. But there was Elvis and I Love Lucy, too. And we managed.

 

This introduction of The Hitch-Hiker put the characters in a much more isolated, darker area than in the opening scene of Kiss Me Deadly  where at least there was traffic, action and light coming from other sources.

 

I felt more fear and helplessness with The Hitch-Hiker than I did with Kiss Me Deadly.

The camera filling the frame with the car and limiting the amount of landscape, the viewer experiences a strong sense of confinement even in the expanse of the desert. The helpnessnes and confinement is emphasized when Talman asks O'Brien and Lovejoy to take their jacket sleeves down to the elbows and keep them there. Talman is now in control.

 

There was trouble in the making at the "get go". By showing only the legs with the pant legs blowing in the wind with the dust and weeds heeds a warning that something evil is about to occur and it won't be pretty.

 

I applaud Ida Lupino for launching into controversial subject matters as a director. She had the guts and talent to put sensitive topics on film in an intelligent and a sometimes sympathetic way without removing the harder elements of the message. I think she has been underrated and not credited enough for her contribution to films. Perhaps some of you would know more about her achievements.

 

Ida Lupino was involved in Four Star:

 

Four Star Television, also called Four Star International, was an American television production company. The company was founded in 1952 as Four Star Productions, by prominent Hollywood actors Dick Powell, David Niven, Joel McCrea, and Charles Boyer. McCrea left the company soon after, and was replaced with Ida Lupino as the fourth star, even though she did not own any stock in the company.

 

Four Star produced many well-known shows of the early days of television, including Four Star Playhouse (their first series), Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theatre, Stagecoach West, The June Allyson Show (aka The DuPont Show Starring June Allyson), The Dick Powell Show, Burke's Law, The Rogues and The Big Valley. Despite each of its four stars sharing equal billing, it was Powell who played the biggest role in the success of the company's growth.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_Star_Television

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a story about betrayal of innocence. It is shown so vividly by the expression on Elenor Parker's face when we first see her. She is in total shock at her situation and where she finds herself. It is so intense that she is paralyzed by fear as we see when the guard forces her out of the paddy wagon.  From the opening sequence the sound of the siren ,and the view that we have from inside the truck, make us feel boxed in and needing air allowing us to empathize with the character. It is a pittiful moment when she gathers with the other women and you notice her crumpled coat, bobbie socks and oxfords. She is way to young and in alot of trouble.

 

Warner Bro. was great at pushing the envelope and showing stories about women in prison was just one of the ways that they went about it. This side of a female character was a surprise to the general audience. We were used to Cagney, Robinson and Bogart but a lady in the klink, not so much.

 

Watching Parker's character grow right before our eyes is amazing. I don't want to go into many details about that in fear of a spoiler. I think it is safe to say you can understand why she got an Oscar nod in 1950.

 

This film noir shows realism by using the light and showing a new reality for her.  We see so much of the light used in shadow and low visibility but  when she comes out of the darkness of the truck she steps into  a different sort of  danger. It is real and she is not dreaming nor is she imagining it. Here we see a known danger coming from an unusual enemy and it's one she has to try to understand quickly.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ida Lupino was involved in Four Star:

 

Four Star Television, also called Four Star International, was an American television production company. The company was founded in 1952 as Four Star Productions, by prominent Hollywood actors Dick Powell, David Niven, Joel McCrea, and Charles Boyer. McCrea left the company soon after, and was replaced with Ida Lupino as the fourth star, even though she did not own any stock in the company.

 

Four Star produced many well-known shows of the early days of television, including Four Star Playhouse (their first series), Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theatre, Stagecoach West, The June Allyson Show (aka The DuPont Show Starring June Allyson), The Dick Powell Show, Burke's Law, The Rogues and The Big Valley. Despite each of its four stars sharing equal billing, it was Powell who played the biggest role in the success of the company's growth.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_Star_Television

Thank you so very much for all this great information. I admire her as an actress and as a director. It's good to know she had so much influence in television as well. Fantastic research.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting that the big, bad city has now become the open, eerie country. Both Kiss Me Deadly and The Hitch-Hiker present visions of the lone wolf who lurks through the night waiting for victims.

 

Isolation seems like a good theme for this one. How are these guys going to escape ... and would you just blindly follow orders? We all think we would do something heroic, but don't be too sure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The power here belongs tothe hitch hiker, who is clearly an experienced criminal. The reference to "heroes" means he has done this many times, and he knows what he is doing. That is scary all by itself. His voice is authoritative and monotone. The hitcher has a reason to hitch, and there is no desperation, unlike yesterday's film. Love the fact thay you don't really see him until you need to. The fact that the gun in th e trunk isn't grabbed shows how much these men recognize the power of the criminal. The spotlights on the faces do show a much darker world.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The openings of both Kiss Me Deadly and The Hitch-Hiker are similar in that they both take place at night on a stretch of mostly deserted roadway with someone trying to get a ride. They both give us a sense of foreboding---something isn't right, but we don't know what it is just yet. The scene from The Hitch-Hiker clues us in a little more since the person picked up brandishes a gun quickly and we know what the immediate threat is. In Kiss Me Deadly, we still don't know where the real danger will be coming from.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


© 2019 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy
×
×
  • Create New...