A private eye escapes his past to run a gas station in a small town, but his past catches up with him. Now he must return to the big city world of danger, corruption, double crosses and duplicitous dames.
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>
The sweater worn by Ann Savage in the earlier parts of the film was yellow and belonged to Shirley Ulmer, the film's script clerk and the wife of the director. The sweater was actually a bit loose on Savage and had to be safety-pinned in certain places so as to fit the actress more snugly. The safety pins can be seen in some shots, especially in the 2018 restored version. See more »
A cigarette appears out of nowhere in Haskell's hand when he tells Roberts that he had not been home since he was 15 years old. See more »
Oh, sure, Phoenix. You look just like a Phoenix girl.
Are the girls in Phoenix that bad?
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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