“Detour” is a 1945 film noir directed by Edgar G. Ulmer. The film tells the gripping and darkly atmospheric story of a man caught in a series of unfortunate events and moral dilemmas.
The film follows Al Roberts (played by Tom Neal), a down-on-his-luck pianist hitchhiking from New York to Los Angeles to reunite with his girlfriend Sue. Along the way, Al gets a ride from a man named Charles Haskell Jr., who unexpectedly dies during the journey. Fearing that he will be blamed for the death, Al assumes Charles’ identity and disposes of the body.
As Al continues his journey, he encounters a mysterious and manipulative woman named Vera (played by Ann Savage). Vera becomes aware of Al’s secret and uses it to blackmail him, forcing him into a dangerous web of deceit and desperation. Al’s life quickly spirals out of control as he becomes entangled in Vera’s schemes and the consequences of his actions.
The film is characterized by its moody atmosphere, gritty visuals, and the moral ambiguity of its characters. It delves into themes of fate, guilt, and the destructive power of deceit. Al’s journey becomes a metaphorical descent into darkness, as he grapples with his past choices and the consequences of his actions.
“Detour” is known for its low-budget production and its raw, unconventional storytelling. It offers a bleak and haunting portrayal of a man’s desperate struggle for survival and redemption in a cruel and unforgiving world.
The film is considered a classic of film noir, known for its atmospheric cinematography, intense performances, and its exploration of the darker aspects of human nature. “Detour” stands as a compelling example of the genre and has left a lasting impact on the film industry.
Edgar G. Ulmer
Martin Goldsmith, Martin Mooney
Tom Neal, Ann Savage, Claudia Drake