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Detour

Tom Neal , Ann Savage , Edgar G. Ulmer    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 11.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Detour + I Wake Up Screaming (Fox Film Noir)
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Product Description

Product Description

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.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Detour ... July 29 2001
Format:DVD
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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1 of 1 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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
One of my favourite movies of all time. A sleazy tale filled with bleakness that never lets up. Tom Neal plays the fatalistic Al spot-on. Ann Savage as the delightfully psychotic Vera is shrew-iffic. Oh my, is she ever a feisty dame! Gotta love a woman who isn't afraid to bite, kick and claw (the scene where a hitchhiking Al inquires about the scratch on the hand of the man who picked him up = classic). The voice-over (unreliable) narration can be cheesy, and so can some of the dialogue (though a good deal of it is clever and well written), yet it all works, and has become less cheesy-seeming as I've grown to love this film.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Terse, taut, and vicious. Dec 26 2003
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
"Detour" is an accomplished work--and was recognized as such at the time of its original release, (see the "Parent's Magazine" review from 1945 for example).
Way too much has been made of its low budget. Neither the story nor script call for a high budget. It is, after all, an intimate drama focusing on only a few characters depicted in merely a few settings. Were this same story to have been shot by RKO, Columbia, Universal, or even MGM, I daresee today's viewers might be startled by the pictorial similarities. For example, compare the outdoor highway/hitchhiking scenes in "Detour" against the roadside tramping of Lana Turner and John Garfield in "The Postman Always Rings Twice" and you will note a strong similarity in visual presentation.
Indeed, the sets are really on the beam, since, overdressed, overly lavish settings would have defeated the picture's intentionally shabby mise en scene.
Moreover, the lighting is superb in the cafe scenes and the fog bound walk on Riverside Drive--very ghostly, very dreamlike. All of which is to suggest, that had Mr.Ulmer a great deal more $$$ here, I very much doubt he would have approached this script, this story, by hurling unnecessary oodles of cash at it. He was shrewd enough to use such funding for those films of his which required a more opulent look, such as "Club Havana" or "Bluebeard".
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5.0 out of 5 stars A low-budget film noir classic Sept. 9 2003
By Daniel Jolley TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
1945's Detour is not only one of your truly vintage film noir classics of all-time, it is also ranked by many among the best low-budget films ever made, largely due to the memorable performances of Tom Neal and Ann Savage. The directorial slant which frames the story is dead on, and one has to think that a larger budget would probably have done more harm than good to this gritty, realistic, film noir tour de force. Tom Neal plays Al Roberts, one of those unfortunate men who was born both stupid and incredibly unlucky. Shortly after his girl Sue up and goes to California looking for stardom, Roberts decides to go west and join her, hitchhiking his way across the country. This one fellow picks him up in Arizona and says he will take him all the way to L.A.; then the guy has the audacity to keel over dead. Afraid he will be accused of murdering the guy, Roberts decides to hide the body, take the guy's money, and assume his identity until such time as he can ditch the car in a big city. Then he himself picks up a hitchhiker, a woman who ends up being the last person on earth he would ever have wanted to encounter. Vera (Savage) know that Roberts is not the man he claims to be, and Roberts quickly finds himself quite at the mercy of this shrew of a woman. Her greed knows no bounds, and Roberts' life becomes more and more complicated and unhappy by the hour.
Ann Savage's character Vera is perhaps the most blunt, cold, evil, wholly unlikable woman I have ever heard tell of. It is quite easy to see why the man we meet in the opening scene is as hateful and short-tempered as he is. As we flash back to the whole story of Roberts' hard times, accompanied by plenty of voiceover narration, one cannot help but feel sorry for the guy.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my husband's favorite movies!
This film noir is superb, we both enjoy watching it every so often when TCM hosts it, hence had to purchase it.
Published 6 months ago by Linda McMullen
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best B movie ever made! Film Noir at it's best.I urge you to see...
What a movie! The stars are B movie grade, but absolutely shine in their roles. Tom Neal is a poor but honest piano player. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Big Bill
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Greatest Film Noirs Ever Made
Detour is one of the finest examples of the magic of film noir. Made with an unbelievably low budget, you would never guess it was because it comes across as a professionally well... Read more
Published on Jan. 8 2011 by Moodywoody
5.0 out of 5 stars Hitching a Ride
Well, Steve said most of what I'd say, but I was struck by the unique dynamic between the two leads. She calls the shots, but then he ignores her obvious invitation. Read more
Published on April 18 2006 by Ken McLean
5.0 out of 5 stars A PARTICULARLY HAUNTING FILM NOIR
This is a short, low-budget film, but it leaves a BIG impact!
I'm not going to give away the plot except to write:
You wouldn't want to trade places with Tom Neal's... Read more
Published on April 7 2004 by Coleen
4.0 out of 5 stars One thought about the transfer to dvd...
... It was awful, in my opinion... I can't believe that they couldn't have come up with a cleaner copy. For a DVD with no extras, this was pretty edgy quality. Read more
Published on Dec 29 2003 by Dwight Jaynes
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Little Movie
Again Edgar Ulmer hits a home run. For a PRC production this is one great little film noir. But we all know that. Read more
Published on Dec 8 2003 by SeaWasp
5.0 out of 5 stars You will feel what Tom Neal feels!
Considered to be one of the best film noirs ever made. In my opinion, this is a darn good, rainy day/late night film. Read more
Published on Aug. 27 2003 by James McDonald
4.0 out of 5 stars Which Is It?
'Detour' is either the worst B movie ever made or it's a masterpiece, I can't decide which. Roger Ebert includes the film in his book 'The Great Movies,' yet other critics dismiss... Read more
Published on June 30 2003 by A. Wolverton
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