197 user 113 critic

Detour (1945)

1:33 | Trailer
Chance events trap hitchhiking nightclub pianist Al Roberts in a tightening net of death, deception and blackmail.


Edgar G. Ulmer


Martin Goldsmith (screenplay), Martin Goldsmith (original story)
1 win. See more awards »





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


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


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


Crime | Drama | Film-Noir


Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


German filmmaker Wim Wenders called Ann Savage's performance as Vera "30 years ahead of its time." See more »


Several of the scenes of Al traveling across country are reversed images. When he first starts his road trip to California he is seen getting into what appears to be the driver's side of the truck, and in the next scene he is seen riding in a Model A, which seems to have right-hand drive. Both of these scenes and a few more are clearly scenes where the film stock was reversed to give the impression of travel from east to west. See more »


Vera: If you act wise, well, mister, you'll pop into jail so fast it'll give you the bends!
See more »


Featured in Submarine (2010) See more »


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

That's life. Whichever way you turn, Fate sticks out a foot to trip you.

When the pianist Al Roberts gets tired of being miserable and missing his girlfriend who traveled across the country to seek her fortune in Hollywood, he decides to leave New York behind. He has no money to pay for the trip from one coast to the other, so he decides to hitchhike, something that proves to be his downfall. A man who picked him up dies during the journey and Al panics when he pessimistically expects to be accused of the death. He steals not only the man's car, but also his identity and stows away the corpse in a ditch. He then decides to pick up a hitchhiker named Vera, but he will soon regret it because she seems to know his dark secret and will not hesitate to take advantage of it.

The story feels more than a little strained on more than one occasion. It's hard not to fall in love the hopelessness that constitutes Detour. A low-budget thriller directed by Edgar G. Ulmer. Sure, it's an extremely simple B-movie, but it is packed full of interesting quotes, friendly cynicism, pitch black darkness and at least as much rain. It is insanely entertaining to see Vera and Al throw sharp barbs at each other while the tones are so miserable that they find it hard to laugh at them.

With a playing time of over 70 minutes says Detour goodbye long before it has time to start to feel tiring.

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Release Date:

25 January 1946 (Canada) See more »

Also Known As:

Detour See more »


Box Office


$30,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,127, 2 December 2018

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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