Amid a semi-documentary portrait of New York and its people, Jean Dexter, an attractive blonde model, is murdered in her apartment. Homicide detectives Dan Muldoon and Jimmy Halloran ... See full summary »
In flashback, New York nightclub pianist Al Roberts hitchhikes to Hollywood to join his girl Sue. On a rainy night, the sleazy gambler he's riding with mysteriously dies; afraid of the police, Roberts takes the man's identity. But thanks to a blackmailing dame, Roberts' every move plunges him deeper into trouble... Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
Errol Morris' favorite film. He said of it: "It has an unparalleled quality of despair, totally unrelieved by hope." See more »
In the first shots of Al hitchhiking, the film is reversed. The cars are driving on the wrong side of the highway and the drivers sitting behind the wheel are sitting on the right side of their vehicles. See more »
When I got my first VCR in 1985, the two movies I immediately rented were "Baby Doll" and "Detour." I have revisited the former many times but it's been 20 years since I saw "Detour." I like it even better.
It moves in a seamless manner. The narrator is drawn as we watch into further and further degradation.
The movie has a beautiful look. I'm sure it's a cliché to note this but it resembles a Hopper painting. It also bears the trademarks of Edgar Ulmer's movies: Literate dialogue and classical movie, no matter how low the budget.
Tom Neal is a mournful, appealing protagonist. He's weak, not really bad. Ann Savage, of course, is terrifying as Vera, the hitchhiker from everyone's worst nightmare.
Al's descent from blonde soubrette Sue to consumptive, murderous Vera is terrifying. Yet, though it passes by us quickly, it is fully believable.
"Detour" is a true work of art.
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