The Devil Thumbs a Ride

The Devil Thumbs a Ride

Theatrical release poster

Directed by
Felix E. Feist

Produced by
Herman Schlom

Screenplay by
Felix E. Feist

Based on
the novel
by Robert C. DuSoe

Lawrence Tierney
Ted North
Nan Leslie

Music by
Paul Sawtell

J. Roy Hunt

Edited by
Robert Swink

Distributed by
RKO Radio Pictures

Release date

February 20, 1947 (1947-02-20) (U.S.)[1]

Running time

62 minutes

United States


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


1 Plot
2 Cast
3 Reception

3.1 Critical response

4 See also
5 References
6 External links

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.

Lawrence Tierney as Steve Morgan
Ted North as Jimmy “Fergie” Ferguson
Nan Leslie as Beulah Zorn, alias Carol Demming
Betty Lawford as Agnes Smith
Andrew Tombes as Joe Brayden, Night Watchman
Harry Shannon as Detective Owens, San Diego Police
Glen Vernon as Jack Kenny, Gas Station Attendant
Marian Carr as Diane Ferguson
William Gould as Police Capt. Martin, San Diego Police
Josephine Whittell as Diane’s mother
Phil Warren as Pete, Roadblock Motorcycle Cop
Robert Malcolm as Deputy Sheriff Grover

Critical response[edit]
When the film was released The New York Times film critic dismissed the film, “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