Film Noir: Detour

7.31 h 8 min1945ALL
Edgar G. Ulmer's twisting and turning "poverty row quickie" stars Tom Neal as a New York nightclub pianist hitchhiking west to be reunited with the fiance who jilted him.
Edgar G. Ulmer
Tom NealAnn Savage
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Leon FromkessMartin Mooney
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4.0 out of 5 stars

36 global ratings

  1. 39% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 38% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 17% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 0% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 6% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

Jonathan M. LampleyReviewed in the United States on July 17, 2016
5.0 out of 5 stars
DETOUR: The Best Film Ever Made on Poverty Row!
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DETOUR is one of the greatest examples of film noir in American cinema! It's a gritty, sordid little thriller running little more than an hour, a gem on the dung heap of Poverty Row programmers--doubtless the best thing to ever come out of PRC, the lowest of the low-budget studios in Hollywood's Golden Age. Director Edgar G. Ulmer mad at least two classic genre films: the horror thriller THE BLACK CAT (1934) with Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi, and this tale of a hitch-hiking piano player (Tom Neal) and the stunningly bad luck he encounters as he tries to cross the country on his thumb. Upon further reflection, though, the viewer is left asking a rather weighty question: does Al Roberts suffer from bad luck, or does he make bad decisions, or is it a combination of both? Such existential musings are unheard of in most Poverty Row productions, which makes DETOUR all the more wonderful. It can be seen for free on Amazon or other sources, so I urge everyone to check it out NOW!
4 people found this helpful
PLCReviewed in the United States on September 19, 2014
4.0 out of 5 stars
An Hour of Ulmer
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Tom Neal plays one of the most pathetic characters yet, moving from bitter nightclub pianist would-be concert hall pianist (although the way he bangs on the keyboards, it's no wonder he never made it) to meek hitchhiker whose bad (really inexplicable) choice seals his fate. The direction, camera angles, pacing, over-the-top hardcore female manipulator - it's a "poverty row quickie" all right. You really have to suspend your disbelief and desire for a plausible script, but it is a film worth watching. Unfortunately, Amazon Instant Video doesn't include a "Cast" option with this film, so I had no idea who any of these actors were or what other work they've done; thank goodness for IMDb. Ann Savage plays one of the meanest, most savage female characters I've ever seen in a movie, outside of the evil character Rae Parkins in "The Gauntlet". When Neal hooks up with Savage, his character morphs into a ludicrous milquetoast - he's simply not the brightest light bulb in the box.
2 people found this helpful
Chris jamesReviewed in the United States on April 26, 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
Great Cinematic Art Noir
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Very watchable film. Writing, acting, the ability to identify with 'Roberts' as Vera calls him, literally, and barks at him all create solid entertainment plus thoughtful musings about the human condition , so score 4-star. 5 star for great art in and of itself, as illustrated in part by the following: for showing ---because this was made in an era when values were never seen as something made up as one 'goes along' ---and one is not here for 'going along,' Ulmer's characterizations exemplify war time and post WWII sentiments exactly in the way typified by French Existentialism, among other elements and themes. "Detour" is comparable to works by Albert Camus, expressing man's alienation, constant strife, dealing with suffering, loneliness, despair.
Janice Hester AmeyReviewed in the United States on November 2, 2016
5.0 out of 5 stars
Watch the Road!
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Good film noir, confused main man, skeptical tough as nails but scared leading lady, no one is quite who he or she says, pretty spare scenery, clearly didn't spend a lot making it but the story is good enough without things blowing up and pretty decorations
Jess F.Reviewed in the United States on June 10, 2014
5.0 out of 5 stars
Irony at its best
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Follow the story of a man caught up in circumstances beyond his control. An accidental death, a cover up, a chance meeting with a hard boiled dame and his life he planned reunion with his true love is ended. Film noir classics don't loose their appeal as they get older, they just get better
One person found this helpful
MHSJReviewed in the United States on November 23, 2016
4.0 out of 5 stars
Great quick fix of Noir
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Great quick fix of Noir. Real hard boiled dialogue throughout. Some scenes would have been super hot if the movie would have been filmed to today's R rated standards instead of 1945. You'll just have to use your imagination.
Rock HoundReviewed in the United States on June 20, 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
Poverty-row studio Producers Releasing Company released this gem which holds ...
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Poverty-row studio Producers Releasing Company released this gem which holds its own even against such lavish noirs as OUT OF THE PAST.
2 people found this helpful
Fabulous William’s 5 star reviewsReviewed in the United States on October 14, 2013
5.0 out of 5 stars
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As a film study and screenwriter student, I found Detour to be the epitome of what the Noir genre represents thematically and visually. All the classic Noir trademarks are in this short film; the femme fatale, hard boiled dialogue, voice over narration, and the low angle low key lighting.
10 people found this helpful
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