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Detour
     

Detour

Director: Edgar G. Ulmer,

Cast: Edgar G. Ulmer, Tom Neal, Ann Savage, Claudia Drake

 

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Edgar G. Ulmer's Detour begins when hitchhiker Al Roberts (Tom Neal) accepts a ride from affable gambler Charles Haskell Jr. (Edmund MacDonald). When Haskell suffers a fatal heart attack, Roberts, afraid that he'll be accused of murder, disposes of the body, takes the

Overview

Edgar G. Ulmer's Detour begins when hitchhiker Al Roberts (Tom Neal) accepts a ride from affable gambler Charles Haskell Jr. (Edmund MacDonald). When Haskell suffers a fatal heart attack, Roberts, afraid that he'll be accused of murder, disposes of the body, takes the man's clothes and wallet, and begins driving the car himself. He picks up beautiful but sullen Vera (Ann Savage), who suddenly breaks the silence by asking, "What did you do with the body?" It turns out that Vera had earlier accepted a ride from Haskell and has immediately spotted Roberts as a ringer. Holding the threat of summoning the police over his head, Vera forces Roberts to continue his pose so that he can collect a legacy from Haskell's millionaire father, who hasn't seen his son in years.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Once hailed by a prominent critic as "the greatest B movie ever made," Detour is certainly a classic of film noir, and arguably the best film directed by stylish German emigré Edgar G. Ulmer (The Black Cat). This microbudgeted evocation of pulp-fiction clichés, filmed in less than a week, stars Tom Neal as a hitchhiking, down-and-out musician who's picked up by femme fatale Ann Savage, seduced by her charms, and eventually implicated in two murders with unexpectedly tragic consequences. Working for the PRC studio, widely known as the runt of the Hollywood litter, Ulmer uses limited resources to creative advantage: Small, cramped, tacky sets convey the gritty, low-rent feel for which he aims, and the apparent haste of production translates into nervous energy projected by his two leads. A box office "sleeper" whose virtues were later extolled by French cineastes who lionized Ulmer, Detour is one cult favorite that actually justifies the hype it's received.
All Movie Guide - Mark Deming
Edgar G. Ulmer was one of the very few filmmakers who was able to carve out a distinctive and memorable style while working in the lowest depths of Hollywood's Poverty Row, and he rarely wrung more from less than in Detour. Detour was shot in a mere six days, and one look at the shoddy, minimalist sets or the clumsy, in-the-camera optical effects makes clear that this movie wasn't meant to be anything more than another dingy time-filler from PRC Pictures. But screenwriter Martin G. Goldsmith filled this tawdry crime story with a cheap but expressive poetry (the cynical bite of Tom Neal's narration and Ann Savage's venomous dialogue tapped a well of bitterness rare even in film noir of the period), and Ulmer made the most of it, filling the film with an air of dread and weary hopelessness. Ulmer's bold compositional framings and effective use of visual shorthand gives a real and effective visual style, something few of the hacks at PRC could be bothered with (cameraman Ben Kline certainly helped), and if there's little subtlety in the performances of fatalistic Tom Neal and shrewish Ann Savage, they suit the tone of the screenplay and add to the film's blunt impact. Detour isn't quite the masterwork film cultists sometimes make it out to be, but it's still a darkly fascinating little film that proves the right director could make something powerful and expressive even out of the most shoddy materials available.

Product Details

Release Date:
07/13/2015
UPC:
0644827198221
Original Release:
1945
Source:
Nostalgia Family
Sales rank:
30,425

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Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Tom Neal Al Roberts
Ann Savage Vera
Claudia Drake Sue
Edmund MacDonald Charles Haskell, Jr.
Tim Ryan Diner Proprietor
Esther Howard Hedy
Roger Clark Man
Don Brodie Used car salesman
Pat Gleason Man

Technical Credits
Edgar G. Ulmer Director
Mona Barry Costumes/Costume Designer
William Calihan Art Director
Leo Erdody Score Composer
Leon Fromkess Producer
Martin G. Goldsmith Screenwriter
Edward C. Jewell Art Director
Ben Kline Cinematographer
George McGuire Editor
Martin E. Mooney Associate Producer
Glenn Thompson Set Decoration/Design
Bud Westmore Makeup

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