7.4/10
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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

To show Al traveling west, shots of a U.S. map, with camera scanning right to left, are interspersed with shots of him hitch hiking. The sequence makes sense to us because Al, his rides, and the camera's movement across the map, all travel in the same direction (right to left). Later the direction is reversed (left to right) to depict Al returning back east from L.A. Without a quantity of westward bound shots he could use nor the means to shoot new ones, Ulmer simply had the eastward bound (left to right) shots reverse printed and used them to show Al traveling to, rather than from, L.A. This is why in the beginning of the movie we see Al hitch with his left thumb and ride in right hand drive cars. 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

Al Roberts: Vera was just as rotten in the morning as she'd been the night before?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in L.A. Noire (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

I'm Always Chasing Rainbows
(uncredited)
Music by Harry Carroll
Lyrics by Joseph McCarthy
Performed by studio orchestra
See more »

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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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