A nifty film noir directed by actress Ida Lupino, The Hitch-Hiker was based on the true story of Billy Cook, who murdered a family of five, then killed a traveling salesman, and finally kidnapped two hunters, intending to kill them. In this film, two fishermen (Edmond O'Brien and Frank Lovejoy) pick up a hitch-hiker (William Talman). Talman plays a psychotic killer who taunts the two friends, telling them that he will kill them before the end of the trip.
This claustrophobic thriller was written by Lupino and Collier Young (who was married to Lupino at the time). Young went on to create the television show Ironside; mystery fans may also know Young from his novel The Todd Dossier, which was ghost-written by Robert Bloch. Robert Joseph (Rage of Angels, World War III) is credited with adapting the script, while an uncredited Daniel Mainwaring (a.k.a. mystery novelist "Geoffrey Homes;" he also wrote the script for the first -- and best -- Invasion of the Body Snatchers) also contributed to the script.