7.4/10
11,679
165 user 87 critic

Detour (1945)

Chance events trap hitch-hiker Al Roberts in a tightening net of film noir trouble.

Director:

Edgar G. Ulmer

Writers:

Martin Goldsmith (screenplay), Martin Goldsmith (original story)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Tom Neal ... Al Roberts
Ann Savage ... Vera
Claudia Drake ... Sue Harvey
Edmund MacDonald ... Charles Haskell Jr
Tim Ryan Tim Ryan ... Nevada Diner Proprietor
Esther Howard ... Diner Waitress
Pat Gleason 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

October 1946 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

El desvío See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In this film Tom Neal plays a young man who accidentally kills two people. Eerily fiction later turned into reality when Tom Neal himself was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for accidentally shooting and killing his wife, Gale Bennett, and served six years in prison. See more »

Goofs

When Al is playing the piano he is not pressing any of the keys, just moving his fingers across the tops of them. See more »

Quotes

Al Roberts: [as narrator after thumbing a ride] I guess at least an hour passed before I noticed those deep scratches on his right hand. They were wicked, three puffy red lines about a quarter inch apart. He must have seen me looking at them because he said...
Charles Haskell Jr.: Beauties, arent they? They're gonna be scars someday. What an animal!
Al Roberts: Whatever it was, it must have been pretty big and vicious to have done that!
Charles Haskell Jr.: Right on both counts, New York! I was tussling with the most dangerous animal in the world - a woman!
Al Roberts: ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Serial Lover (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Waltz Op. 39 in A Flat Major
(uncredited)
Music by Johannes Brahms
Played by Al on the piano (dubbed by Leo Erdody)
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User Reviews

 
No budget masterpiece
18 July 2004 | by preppy-3See all my reviews

Al Roberts (Tom Neal) is a depressed NYC piano player whose girlfriend leaves him to try her luck in CA. He follows her by hitchhiking his way. He's picked up by a man who (inexplicably) dies while Al is driving. Naturally Al does everything wrong...like dumping the body and then picking up Vera (Ann Savage) a totally amoral woman. Then things barrel horribly out of control.

You can quibble about plot points (a certain death is highly implausible) but this IS a masterpiece of the genre. It's one of the grimmest film noirs of its time. It was made by a poverty row studio (PRC) on no budget. Actually the lack of budget helps the story--everything appears dark and grim fitting the tone of the story. Also they had an excellent director (Edgar G. Ulmer) and a great script by Martin Goldsmith. Also Neal was very good as Roberts and Savage is exceptional as Vera (there's a scene where she explodes at Roberts in a car which is truly scary). It's also all wrapped up in a tight economical 69 minutes. This has deservedly been a cult movie for many years.

Good luck finding a clear print with good sound.


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