The Hitch-Hiker [The Cook Story, The Hitchhiker]

Ida Lupino (director, screenwriter)
Collier Young (screenwriter)
Edmond O'Brien, Frank Lovejoy, William Talman, Jose Torvay (starring)

Culver City, CA: RKO Radio Pictures, 1952. Revised Final Script for the 1953 film, here under its working title "The Cook Story." Carbon typescript master, clean, with just a handful of typeovers throughout.

Based on the true account of serial killer Billy Cook. Gilbert and Roy (Lovejoy and O'Brien) are two buddies on a fishing trip who stop to pick up a hitchhiker named Emmett (Talman), whom they learn is an escaped serial killer. To make things more daunting, Emmett informs the buddies of their impending death, carried out once they reach Mexico.

This early draft of the script precedes shooting—which began on June 24, 1952—by nearly three months, and includes a bookend context at the beginning and end of the story wherein we are introduced to the home lives (and problems) of the film's two protagonists. The final film takes a more minimal approach, wherein these bookends are removed, and the story begins simply with the two men on a vacation together in the mountains of the California.

Shot on location in California. One of Lupino's final (and best known) directorial credits, followed the same year by "The Bigamist" (1953), and finally "The Trouble with Angels" (1966).

Tan titled wrappers, noted as REVISED FINAL SCRIPT on the front wrapper, dated 4/9/52, stamped production number 1785 at the top right corner, with credits for screenwriters Lupino and Young. Carbon typescript master on onionskin stock. 94 leaves, with last page of text numbered 92. Mechanical duplication. Pages Near Fine, wrapper Wrapper Very Good or better, pages Near Fine, bound with three gold brads.

National Film Registry. Grant US. Selby Canon US. Silver Classic Noir. Spicer US.2.

[Book #158191]