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Detour

Detour(1946)

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  • detour

    • kevin sellers
    • 10/23/14

    Ok, I'm hooked. I was skeptical going in, especially after seeing Murder Is My Beat, another noir directed by Edgar G Ulmer that was frankly pretty bad, but fifteen minutes into this one, or just about the time the protagonist/hitchiker is given a ride by the sleazy Charles Haskell, the film grabbed me and didn't let go until the end. Indeed, the Kafkaesque, nightmare world of greed, impending death, and failure is so well delineated, both through Ulmer's direction as well as the screenplay by someone I'd never heard of named Martin Goldsmith that I soon forgot the basic absurdity of the plot, namely that the protagonist would have the bad fortune to be around for one character's natural death, presumably a heart attack, as well as another character's accidental strangulation via a phone cord, and became totally immersed in the futile struggles of the protagonist. As for the acting, Ann Savage, someone else I'd never heard of or seen, gives one of the great portrayals of cupidity, easily as good as the wife in Von Stroheim's Greed. And Tom Neal, whom I didn't want to like since he put Franchot Tone in the hospital in the course of stealing his untalented wife, Barbara Payton, away, as well as murdering his second (or was it his third?) wife and only doing six years for it, I have to admit was perfect in his sagging, defeated, self pity.Not your classic noir, perhaps, because the corruption is internal rather than involving society, but one of the great studies in hopelessness. Give it an A- (because of the dumb plot.)

  • Detour

    • Dashiell Barnes
    • 4/28/12

    One reason that this film is great is because it unapologetically express' it's B- movie style. Neal & Savage are perfectly unglamorous & each give suprissingly good performances. The sound quality made it difficult to understand what was being said & the story could be ludacris at times. A great film noir that has become a cult masterpiece. I give it a 3/5.

  • A must for film noir fans

    • Johnny Perry
    • 4/27/12

    Watch a hundred B movies filmed on a shoestring budget and one of them has got to be a jewel - right? Well, for all you lovers of 1940s film noir, this is it. The low budget, low-key lighting and minimally rendered interiors actually compliment the tone and enhance the nightmarish storytelling. The director, Edgar G. Ulmer, ("The Black Cat" 1934) creates a sense of doom and dread that permeates this under-lit, black-and-white journey into a personal hell.To underscore the sense of watching a dead-man-walking, the lead actor, Tom Neal, had a troubled private life. He would later be convicted of manslaughter for shooting his third wife in the back of her neck. Sentenced to life in prison, he served six years before being paroled - but died of natural causes less than a year after his release.Bottom line: You cannot consider yourself a film noir buff unless you see this movie - multiple times.

    • 3/19/12

  • this is the best movie ever!!

    • iwant2gowest
    • 6/28/10

    one of those movies that i can't pass up whenever it's shown. i bought a DVD copy off the $1 table at Target a few years ago not knowing anything about it. Vera was a BIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIItch and had me laughing out loud. Talk about having a man by his b*lls!!. If you thought Bette Davis could make googly eyes wait until you see Vera. Watch for the scene when he's talking to Sue on the phone. she doesn't say a word, just makes faces as he goes on about "hey doll, i miss you." blah, blah, blah.this is just crying out for a remake (please no Nicole Kidman, she's not scary enough)Tom Neal went on to live a dramatic, sordid life (shooting his third wife, beating up Franchot Tone) and Ann Savage just died about a year or so ago.i've got to get some film noir loving friends so i can have someone to talk to about this film.

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