Detour (1945 film)
Independent Films, Film Profiles
Detour (1945) is a film noir cult classic that stars Tom Neal, Ann Savage, Claudia Drake, and Edmund MacDonald. The movie was adapted by Martin Goldsmith and Martin Mooney (uncredited) from Goldsmith's novel, and was directed by Edgar G. Ulmer. The 68-minute film was released by the Producers Releasing Corporation (PRC), one of the so-called "poverty row" film studios.Although made on a small budget and containing only rudimentary sets and camera work, the film has garnered substantial praise through the years and is held in high regard. The film has fallen into the public domain and is freely available from online sources. There are also many DVD editions.Al (Tom Neal), a piano player, sets off hitchhiking his way to California to be with his fiancee. Along the way, a stranger in a convertible gives him a ride. While driving, Al stops to put the top up during a rainstorm. The owner of the car falls out and onto the pavement, dead (it is unclear whether he has died in his sleep or due to the fall). Al panics and dumps the body in a gully; takes the stranger's money, clothes, and ID; and drives off in his expensive car. After spending the night in a motel, Al picks up another hitchhiker, Vera (Ann Savage) (a femme fatale), who had earlier ridden with the stranger and threatens to turn him in for murdering the stranger unless he gives her all the money. In Hollywood, they rent an apartment and, while trying to sell the car, learn from a newspaper that the stranger was about to collect a large inheritance. Vera demands that Al impersonate the stranger, but Al balks at this notion. When the two get drunk in the apartment and begin arguing, a snubbed Vera takes Al up on his earlier dare to call the police, whereupon Al accidentally strangles her with a telephone cord. Al starts hitchhiking back east, but is apprehended by the police near Reno.The story is narrated by Al, who may be an unreliable narrator.
Year of Production: 1945
Length: 68 min.
Country: United States
- Edgar G. Ulmer
- Leon Fromkess
- Tom Neal, Ann Savage, Claudia Drake, Edmund MacDonald, Tim Ryan