Trapped inside his car by a mudslide, smooth talking Jackson Alder suddenly finds himself in a situation he can't talk his way out of. With no hope of rescue, he must defy the odds; battling Mother Nature for his survival.
Paul, a young man whose father was once lieutenant Governor of California before his untimely death, has a strange, recurring dream in which his mother falls in love with a dangerous man (... 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>
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 during the Brahms. See more »
After meeting up with Roberts, Vera's hair continually changes while riding in the convertible. 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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