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Detour (1945)

Tom Neal , Ann Savage , Edgar G. Ulmer  |  NR |  DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Tom Neal, Ann Savage, Claudia Drake, Edmund MacDonald, Tim Ryan
  • Directors: Edgar G. Ulmer
  • Writers: Martin Mooney, Martin Goldsmith
  • Producers: Leon Fromkess, Martin Mooney
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Image Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: September 26, 2000
  • Run Time: 67 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004W19C
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #84,210 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Detour" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Suspense as startling as a strangled scream! This is it, the defining motion picture in all of "film noir," written by Academy Award-nominee Martin Goldsmith (The Narrow Margin) and directed by legendary B-movie maker Edgar G. Ulmer (Daughter of Dr. Jekyll, The Black Cat). Tom Neal (The Brute Man, The Pride of the Yankees), handsome 1940's leading man, brings to thrilling life a down-on-his-luck nightclub performer who takes one wrong turn and picks up the meanest femme fatale in all of "noir," played to perfection by the incomparable Ann Savage (The Dark Horse, The Spider) in one of the most powerful and riveting performances ever recorded on celluloid.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
75 of 76 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Five stars for the movie. I agree that this is a great work of film noir.

I knew upfront that the print quality of this film would be less than perfect. So, in order to get the very best print, I purchased all three DVDs that were available - Alpha Video, Image Entertainment, and the A2zcds.com Remastered Edition.

The A2zcds.com Remastered Edition of "Detour" is a piece of junk. Don't waste your money. It has the picture quality of an amateur You Tube video. The various shades of black and gray are broken down into large digital cubes. The digital cubes are about a half inch in size and dance all over the screen when there is any movement - which is very distracting. Also, for more than half of the movie, from the point of the movie where Tom Neal picks up Ann Savage and they begin talking in the car - the voice audio track is not in sync with the lip movement. You hear what the person says before their lips even move.

The Alpha Video release of "Detour" has problems with its grays. The grays are not crisp and have a very small hint of sepia color. Also the audio seems a little muffled.

The Image Entertainment release of "Detour" while far from perfect is the better one of the three versions currently available.
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66 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Want a ride? July 5, 2004
Format:DVD
An unshaven and weather-beaten young man sits brooding over a cup of coffee in an anonymous roadside café. A man of means by no means, as Roger Miller would put it. But Al Roberts (Tom Neal) is king of no road, and by the end of DETOUR we wonder whether he is even sovereign over his own soul.
A potential ride in the form of a friendly trucker strikes up a conversation. Where you coming from? West. Where you going to? East.
Roberts is wrong, though. He's coming from Hell and he's going to Nowhere, and the last thing he needs is a chatty trucker along for company.
DETOUR is told in a flashback from that lonely stool. Roberts and his girlfriend work as pianist/singer in a fleabag club out east. Comes a foggy night and she splits up with him to pursue fame out west. Weeks later he calls and they agree to get back together. He'll come out west and they can be married.
Being down at his heels Roberts is forced to hitchhike to California. All goes well until he reaches Arizona, where Fate deals Roberts one nasty hand after another. In short order the innocent Roberts finds and feels himself a hunted man.
DETOUR is a wonderful film. Neal is perfect as the moody young musician who finds himself trapped first by and accident and later by femme fatale Ann Savage, who know his terrible secret and has no scruples against using it against him for her own nefarious purposes. Veteran B-movie director Edgar Ulmer has enough tricks up his sleeves to surmount the Poverty Row studio conditions he was working under. If you're a fan of film noir, or enjoy hard-bitten stories, you'll enjoy DETOUR.
By the way, my thirty year old first edition copy of The Film Encyclopedia had an interesting entry on DETOUR'S star Tom Neal.
Read more ›
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gloriously Cheap, Dark Little Noir Gem July 25, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
'Detour' manages to do in 67 min. what most films dream about in two hours. Made for almost nothing in 5 days by a small-time studio, this goes to show that you don't need money or big studio support to create an enduring movie. You can sense the tight budget all around. Take into consideration for example that Ulmer shot a big portion of the film inside cars (notice how the first few cars have the driver's seat on the left side, like English automobiles), a cheap nightclub and a creaky apartment. Also in the flashback sequence when Tom Neal is sitting in the restaurant, Ulmer simply put out the lights, made a close-up on Neal's face and shed a rectangular light onto his eyes to create the flashback effect. All this techniques, while not very innovative, add to the effect of this bleak little gem. A dark little drama that is deserving of it's cult following. Tom Neal is the ultimate screen chump as an innocent man who happens to land on Ann Savage's deadly lap. Ann Savage creates one of the most ruthless characters ever to grace the silver screen, her character doesn't have a shred of human kindness or decency, she's tough, greedy, ruthless and relentless. It has all the elements of great noir; a truly memorable femme fatale, dark foggy streets, acid-stingy dialogue and a hero who gets his just desserts. A dark little gem that deserves to be discovered by noir fans. From a scale of 1-10 I give this film an 8!
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Detour ... July 29, 2001
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I am a great admirer of "Detour" which is probably the best low-budget film noir ever made. But this DVD is a piece of junk. It is transferred from a lousy, battered 35mm print that has badly spliced gaps and screwed-up film footage in crucial scenes, obliterating some of the best dialogue. The company that put this out should be ashamed of itself, especially considering this film is now considered a low-budget masterpiece. If you have no copy of this, get the Sinister Cinema VHS. It is a much higher quality print.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great movie, poor transfer to DVD October 3, 2000
Format:DVD
I love the way this story unfolds, in flashback, which is relatively common in film noir. This story opens with Neal looking back on events as they unfolded, similar to the way Fred MacMurray opens Double Indemnity with his narrative. The dialogue exchange between Neal and Savage is wonderful too, even hilariously unbelievable at times, like when they first meet. The only trouble I have with the DVD is that the master was apparently in sad shape. In more than a few places, it is apparent that this movie is in deperate need of a restoration. Several scenes have visual noise and thin vertical lines running across the frame. Even the audio fades and crackles at one point (where Neal and his girlfriend kiss goodbye), which is jarring when one considers this is a DVD. I do not regret buying this DVD because I love this moive--I only hope that it will be restored one day.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Hanging out for a better release of this great noir classic.
One of the greatest film noir's of all time. Although this particular edition may not do this great classic enough justice, it is one of the better ones available. Read more
Published 3 months ago by George Constantin
5.0 out of 5 stars The Guilty Soul of Film Noir
This 1945 "B" movie, "Detour", was produced in a matter of days by a cheap "poverty row" Hollywood studio. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Robin Friedman
4.0 out of 5 stars Existential Guilt
The guy suffers from low self-esteem. He does not love himself. He thinks he's guilty and he attracts bad things happening to him. Read more
Published 11 months ago by G. Charles Steiner
5.0 out of 5 stars Monument
This film is a monument to director Edgar G Ulmer. It is a masterpiece like so many others he directed. the man was an under appreciated genius. Read more
Published 11 months ago by jim crawford
4.0 out of 5 stars Out In The Be-Bop 1940s Night
A lot of guys, musical guys anyway, are always trying to reach that high white note, that elusive note that says they have made it, have met god and his graces, in their chosen... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Alfred Johnson
4.0 out of 5 stars true noir (especially my version)
Only people of a certain age can remember what it was like when there were only a few television stations, only a few of those showing films, only a few of those showing films... Read more
Published 12 months ago by L. Monstuart
5.0 out of 5 stars An endless guessing game
Al Roberts(Tom Neal) is down and out: broke and hungry and his only mode of transportation is his thumb. But Al doesn't like hitchhiking: "It's dangerous. Read more
Published 16 months ago by little white gloves
3.0 out of 5 stars Detour (1945) Is A Well Done Movie, But It Is Also Grim and...
Detour (1945) Is A Well Done Movie, but it is Also Grim and Depressing...Who Needs That?

Detour (1945) starring Tom Neal and Ann Savage is an excellent movie and... Read more
Published 21 months ago by David R. Allen
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointment
I remember this film coming out when ! ws 10 years old. Finally I got to see it. An OK film but the ending is just tacked on after all the hoopla. What a disappointment!
Published 23 months ago by Philos
3.0 out of 5 stars It seems I was not as bowled over as everyone else...
<strong>Detour</strong> (Edgar G. Ulmer, 1945)

If you spend your time hanging around reading stuff written by people who make thousand-best lists, you're not going... Read more
Published on April 27, 2012 by Robert Beveridge
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