Author:Mary Ann Anderson

Pubisher:Bear Manor Media

ISBN:1-59393-759-8

By any measure, Ida Lupino was one of the most remarkable presences on the film scene during the second half of the 20th century. Born in London, with a family theatrical background, her smoky-voiced sensitivity and intensty contributed to several significant films. One of this reviewer’s personal favorites was the 1943 potboiler, The Hard Way. Later, she turned to directing, writing and producing, both for film and television.

A genuine beauty, who reportedly was even more incandescent in person than on screen, Lupino later appeared in arguably “B” black-and-white films such as The Bigamist and Beware My Lovely. In this same group was a film which she directed and co-wrote but did not act in called The Hitch-Hiker, based on the crime career of serial killer, Billy Cook, who was executed at the age of 23 in 1951.

Author Mary Ann Anderson, who enjoyed a close association with Lupino as documented in other books, has chosen The Hitch-Hiker as the focus for this rag-tag collection of quotes, press releases, artist profiles, and publicity photos. There are also a few sketchy accounts of Lupino’s marriages, her struggles with Hollywood censors, and the difficulties she encountered in establishing and managing a film production company.

As it deals with a killer, comparisons between Anderson’s work and Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood, which also received film treatment, are inevitable. Indeed, Lupino visited her killer in prison just as Capote did his. Suffice it to say that the comparison is not favorable to The Hitch-Hiker.

The text is replete with mistakes in grammar and punctuation and it’s sometime difficult to determine whether the faults are those of the author or of the several sources from which she quotes. In any case, there is an overall sense of carelessness, which does no favors either to Lupino or her work.

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