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Detour (1945)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | October 1946 (UK)
Chance events trap hitch-hiker Al Roberts in a tightening net of film noir trouble.

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Writers:

(screenplay), (original story)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Sue Harvey
...
Tim Ryan ...
Nevada Diner Proprietor
...
Diner Waitress
Pat Gleason ...
Joe
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Storyline

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 <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

He went searching for love... but Fate forced a DETOUR to Revelry... Violence... Mystery!

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

October 1946 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

A Curva do Destino  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$30,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

To save on production costs, Leo Erdody, the film's composer, was recorded and filmed playing two classical piano pieces, Frédéric Chopin's "Waltz No. 7 in C# minor" and Johannes Brahms' "Waltz Op. 39 no. 15 in Ab Major" as a favor for director Edgar G. Ulmer. Al Roberts (Tom Neal) "performs" the piano pieces during scenes set in the "Break of Dawn" nightclub. Erdödy's hands, in close-up, can be seen playing the Brahms. See more »

Goofs

When Al Roberts is dragging Charles Haskell Jr's body from the car into the bushes on the side of the road, you can see the rain making apparatus shooting water up into the air to generate the rain. See more »

Quotes

Vera: Life's like a ball game. You gotta take a swing at whatever comes along before you find it's the ninth inning.
Al Roberts: You read that somewhere...
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Connections

Featured in Edgar G. Ulmer - The Man Off-screen (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

I Can't Believe That You're in Love with Me
(uncredited)
Written by Jimmy McHugh and Clarence Gaskill
Performed by Claudia Drake
Played often in the score
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User Reviews

 
The hitchhiker
23 July 2005 | by See all my reviews

It's a tribute to Edgar Ulmer that "Detour", made for about thirty thousand dollars, still keeps an interest with new fans who discover it. According to some comments, "Detour" has not been seen in this country in quite a while, but we recall the first time we saw it when it was presented at New York's Film Forum as part of a Film Noir festival in the late eighties. The copy shown recently on TCM has a poor quality, while the print we saw at Film Forum was in better condition.

What makes "Detour" a must see, is the clever way its narrative unfolds on the screen. Al and Sue are seen first in the small bistro he plays the piano and she sings, in Manhattan. Sue sings a happy rendition of "I Can't Believe You're in Love with Me", and Al shows he can improvise on a theme by Chopin as he jazzes it up. When Sue decides to pack it and move to L.A., Tom promises he'll follow. The tragic mistake he makes is to intent crossing the country hitchhiking. Even in the forties, it's a miracle he made it alive!

In Arizona Al meets the kind Charles Haskell, who happens to be going all the way to L.A. and offers him a ride. The two men develop an easy friendship until the point when Haskell dies of an apparent heart attack. Al disposes of the body and keeps going, assuming now, Haskell's persona. At the nearest gas station he sees a pretty woman, Vera, who appears is hitchhiking, and offers her a ride. This will prove to be his biggest mistake.

Vera turned out to be Al's worst nightmare. She knows Al is not Haskell since she, herself, knows the man. Al ends up a virtual prisoner hiding in the apartment they have rented in Hollywood. He can't escape. When Vera realizes there's a lot of money to be made by having Al pretend to impersonate the dead Haskell, he refuses. She threatens to call the police and he is left on the other room pulling the telephone cord...

The film works because all the elements are in place in this satisfying 67 minutes work and because of the great performances Mr. Ulmer got out of Tom Neal and Ann Savage. Edmund MacDonald and Claudia Drake played Haskell and Sue.

"Detour" was shot in two sets and it shows. It's a small film that doesn't pretend what it's not, and that's basically why audiences seem to like it as it's discovered.


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