Although made in the same year as Lupino's impressive weepie The Bigamist, this inhabits a totally different universe. Two men on a fishing trip pick up a mass-murdering hitcher (Talman), and are forced at gunpoint to drive him through Mexico until the fatal moment when he no longer needs them. Absolutely assured in her creation of the bleak, noir atmosphere - whether in the claustrophobic confines of the car, or lost in the arid expanses of the desert - Lupino never relaxes the tension for one moment. Yet her emotional sensitivity is also upfront: charting the changes in the menaced men's relationship as they bicker about how to deal with their captor, stressing that only through friendship can they survive. Taut, tough, and entirely without macho-glorification, it's a gem, with first-class performances from its three protagonists, deftly characterised without resort to cliché.
Cast and crew
Collier Young, Ida Lupino, Robert Joseph
Edmond O'Brien Frank Lovejoy William Talman José Torvay Sam Hayes Jean Del Val Natividad Vacio