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The Hitcher


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DVD 1-Disc Version
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Product Details

  • Actors: Various
  • Directors: Various
  • Format: Color, Letterboxed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: HBO Studios
  • DVD Release Date: April 5, 2005
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (200 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0783114893
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #62,725 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Hitcher" on IMDb

Special Features

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Hitcher, The (DVD)

Amazon.com

Steven Spielberg's first feature film, 1971's Duel, is set on a desert highway. It stars Dennis Weaver as a driver being pursued by a menacing truck, which is following him with all the vengeance of the ancient furies. In this spiritual update from 1984, C. Thomas Howell plays a guy taking a drive-away car from Chicago to San Diego. On a whim, in the rain, and against his better judgment, he picks up a hitchhiker (Rutger Hauer). The hitcher quickly admits to being a murdering psychopath, and once Howell finally gets him out of his car, he is pursued with all the vengeance of the ancient furies. We're never sure if the hitcher is a figment of his imagination, making Howell a schizophrenic killer, or if he's real and Howell is the random victim of a wandering madman, which is how his potential new girlfriend (Jennifer Jason Leigh) thinks of him. Either way, The Hitcher is great fun, kinda scary, and teetering on the brink of "must see." --Andy Spletzer

Customer Reviews

THis movie is one of the best thrillers i have ever seen.
J-dub
Most people seem to think that the killer, played by Rutger Hauer, has no motive, even the people who LIKE the movie.
Michael Kydonieus
THE HITCHER is a perfectly crafted suspense film built on superior characters and mood as well as a kinetic score.
Carl Manes

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 56 people found the following review helpful By D. K. Malone on August 14, 2003
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The reason I bought a DVD player almost four years ago was that I finally saw for myself the drastic increase in picture quality from VHS. I can tolerate DVD releases that skimp on extras like behind the scenes documentaries and director commentary, but I do demand good picture quality. This DVD fails to deliver. It doesn't look too bad when the scenes occur in daylight, but when you reach the point in the story where darkness falls and the scenes were shot at night, the extremely low quality of the film print and digital transfer come shining through. I haven't seen this much grain and artifacting since... well, ever. It's even worse than the "gray market" DVD of the Twin Peaks pilot episode. Buy if you must, but as for me I wish I'd held out for a better edition.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By N. Durham HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on March 5, 2005
Format: DVD
Some call the original Hitcher a horror movie, others classify it under the suspense genre, etc. All that aside, this little flick did more than turn a few heads back when it came out in the mid-80's, featuring Rutger Hauer's ice cold performance as a psychotic killer who hitches a ride with a young man (C. Thomas Howell) whom he terrorizes and frames for his crimes as the film rolls on. Considering the time the Hitcher was made, it's surprisingly not predictable, and loaded with taut suspense, with great performances from Howell, Jennifer Jason Leigh (whose character has the most infamous death in the whole film), and especially Hauer who is disturbingly perfect as psychopathic killer John Ryder. Hopefully the Hitcher will be re-released on DVD with loads of features and a much better picture transfer (the one on this disc is terribly grainy), and considering all the DVD double dipping of late, that possibility isn't entirely unlikely.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Mr Vess on July 18, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
This is probably Rutger Hauer's best known role - and *the* perfect example of how good an actor he is. His magnificent performance adds to the film's strange and surreal atmosphere and creates one of the most chilling movie villains of all time. A mysterious modern Flying Dutchman, shadowy and coming from nowhere, undead and cursed to roam not the sea but a desert and kill over and over again, Rutger Hauer's "John Ryder" cannot be liberated unless *he* himself is killed... and this is the favor that he asks a young driver he meets to do. The movie is not standard, down-to-earth thriller. It creates its own world and you can only understand it when you watch it and have the Flying Dutchman's story in mind. Only then will you see that what some people thought to be mistakes and holes in the script are in fact deliberate and well-thought elements of the plot. Watch the movie thinking of "John Ryder" as the Flying Dutchman, and you will understand every comment he makes, every line he says, and every action he takes. And, hopefully, you will appreciate the genius of Rutger Hauer and director Bob Harmon.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 28, 2007
Format: DVD
Why Hollywood remakes movies such as "The Hitcher," "Psycho" or "The Manchurian Candidate" defies explanation. All of these should be seen in their original versions, not as remakes.

Every review I've read of the 2007 version of "The Hitcher" has been horrible, and I don't plan on wasting my money on it.

See this 1986 version. The combination of C. Thomas Howell, Rutger Hauer and Jennifer Jason Leigh; plus the landscape, music and lighting; plus Robert Harmon's direction made for a must-see thriller/horror classic. It is a work of art. If you like reading pulp/noir/crime fiction, you'll love watching this cult classic which succeeds as much because of perfect casting and perfect choices of locations as anything else.

But remaking this is like repainting classic art or rewriting Shakespeare -- I mean, it's just downright stupid and also doomed from the get-go.

[Five stars for the movie; I'm not rating the quality of this DVD (see reviews below).]
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By "joehelmet" on August 1, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
If you have ever been tempted to pick up a stranger, this movie should cure you for good. Forgive me for probably repeating some things. This movie stars C. Thomas Howell (Ponyboy in The Outsiders), Rutger Hauer (Blade Runner), & Jennifer Jason Leigh (Fast Times At Ridgemont High). This was the extent of my knowledge when I first saw this movie at the age of 15 with my best friend (our theater more or less did not believe in carding). This movie looked cool but we had no major expectations.
WOW! This was one of those movies where you had no idea how much time had passed when it was over. Howell is convincing enough as your basic 80's midwestern dirty white boy. I could relate. He was the main draw at the time for moviegoers. But Hauer is positively bone-chilling in his role as an aimless drifter who has decided, after Howell initially gets the better of him, to focus all of his deranged energy & attention squarely upon the shoulders of Howell's character by alternately terrorizing him & oddly assisting him - while offering no explanation for either (well, near the end we learn a little). Leigh plays the innocent bystander who becomes caught in the middle. Anyone looking for or suspecting the standard romance angle will not find it in this movie; the only developing relationship that develops here is between the kid & the hitcher. Normally, at this time in my life, I went to rated R movies looking for some T&A (didn't we all...), but this is a movie where there is none - and is not missed one bit. The only other rated R flick from this period for which I would say the same was Runaway Train. What I am saying is that the plot is engrossing (as long as you believe most anything could happen out in the lonely Texas badlands - esp.
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