On October 17, 2018, the DGA Special Projects Committee hosted an evening honoring the 100th anniversary of the birth of legendary filmmaker Ida Lupino. The event featured screenings of two of her most acclaimed films — The Hitch-Hiker and The Bigamist — introduced Professor Julie Grossman, director of film studies at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, New York, and the co-author of Ida Lupino, Director: Her Art and Resilience in Times of Transition. Lupino biographer Mary Ann Anderson, author of Ida Lupino: Beyond the Camera and The
Making of The Hitch-Hiker: Illustrated, was also in attendance that night.
In Lupino’s The Hitch-Hiker (1953), a fishing trip between two friends takes a terrifying turn when the hitchhiker they pick up turns out to be a sociopath on the run from the law who threatens to kill them as soon as they’re no longer useful. In 1998, The Hitch-Hiker was deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.
In Lupino’s The Bigamist (1953), a private investigator uncovers the fact that a seemingly happily married San Francisco businessman has another wife and a small child in Los Angeles.
Lupino was a true multi-hyphenate — a director, actress, writer and producer. Her acting career included over 100 film and television projects, most notably the features High Sierra, The Hard Way and Ladies in Retirement, and her Emmy-nominated role in the series Mr. Adams and Eve. Her directing career began with uncredited work on Not Wanted and continued with the feature films Never Fear; Outrage; Hard, Fast and Beautiful; The Bigamist; The Trouble with Angels; and The Hitch-Hiker, the first film noir directed by a woman. Lupino’s episodic television directing career was much more prolific, with episodes of such popular series as Bewitched, Gilligan’s Island, The Ghost & Mrs. Muir and The Twilight Zone — where she was the only female director in its original 156-episode run. Lupino joined the DGA in 1950 and passed away in 1995.
- For more about Ida Lupino, click here to visit her IMDB.com page.
- Our conversation with Mary Ann Anderson about Ida Lupino, The Hitch-Hiker, The Bigamist and more is available online for listening on demand on the TV CONFIDENTIAL YouTube channel.