The Devil Thumbs a Ride

The Devil Thumbs a Ride is a 1947 film noir directed by Felix E. Feist and featuring Lawrence Tierney and Ted North.[2]

The Devil Thumbs a Ride
Theatrical release poster
Directed byFelix E. Feist
Produced byHerman Schlom
Screenplay byFelix E. Feist
Based onthe novel
by Robert C. DuSoe
StarringLawrence Tierney
Ted North
Nan Leslie
Music byPaul Sawtell
CinematographyJ. Roy Hunt
Edited byRobert Swink
Distributed byRKO Radio Pictures
Release date
  • February 20, 1947 (1947-02-20) (U.S.)[1]
Running time
62 minutes
CountryUnited States


Steve Morgan (Tierney) is a charming sociopath who has just robbed and killed a cinema cashier. Seeking to escape, he hitches a ride to Los Angeles with unsuspecting Jimmy 'Fergie' Ferguson (North). Part way the pair stops at a gas station and picks up two women. Encountering a roadblock, Morgan persuades the party to spend the night at an unoccupied beach house. The police close in as one by one Morgan begins killing the threesome.



Critical response

When the film was released The New York Times film critic identified as BC (Bosley Crowther) dismissed the film, writing, "The Devil Thumbs a Ride, which came to the Rialto yesterday, is a distinctly pick-up affair ... In the role of the thug Lawrence Tierney, who played Dillinger a couple of years back, behaves with the customary arrogance of all gunmen in cheap Hollywood films. It is pictures like this which give the movies a black eye and give us a pain in the neck."[3]

Recently, film critic Dennis Schwartz was also critical of the film, writing, "Felix E. Feist (The Man Who Cheated Himself/Donovan's Brain/The Threat) directs and writes this ugly hitchhiker crime drama that has little entertainment value, the characters other than the main protagonist are too incredibly dull to ring true and it has no redeeming social value. The low-budget programmer is helped only by its noir look, fast-pace, the manic performance by Lawrence Tierney and the offbeat nature of its story ... Feist fills both the police car and the hitcher's car with noir characters, but it ends up as a ride to nowhere."[4]

See also


  1. "The Devil Thumbs a Ride: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved April 30, 2014.
  2. The Devil Thumbs a Ride at the TCM Movie Database.
  3. B.C. [Bosley Crowther] The New York Times. Film review, March 22, 1947. Accessed: July 17, 2013.
  4. Schwartz, Dennis Schwartz. Ozus' World Movie Reviews, film review, February 4, 2007. Accessed: July 17, 2013.
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