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4.1 out of 5 stars 25 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: Black & White, DVD-Video, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • Release Date: Oct. 1 2002
  • Run Time: 67 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B00004W19C
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #62,112 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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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.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: DVD
Considered to be one of the best film noirs ever made. In my opinion, this is a darn good, rainy day/late night film. I won't tell you anything about the plot, but there are plenty of twists and surprises in this one. Simply, a piano player travels from state to state. A girlfriend that he was fond of, he called on the phone. She went to Hollywood to perform and be an actress. He misses her so he hawks everything and hitch hikes cross-country to get back together with her. So here he is on the road hitch hiking when a nice man picks him up and from there this story moves fast. This film is a must-see. It only runs 67 minutes. Alpha Video is offering a very fine print of film. Quite clear. Tom Neal had a troubled life after this film. But you can read more of that elsewhere on the web. His son, Tom Neal Jr. re-made "Detour" in 1992 and even starred in it. Ann Savage is the only member of this 1945 cast still alive. This DVD version contains an "Index" which is a chapter selection. No extras or bonuses.
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Format: DVD
DETOUR is the ultimate work of art on human fate. "Wherever you go, fate is stretching his feet to trip you" says the doomed hero. Unlike many film noirs and crime movies, the hero is an "ordinary healthy guy" as he describes himself, trapped in an extraordinary unhealthy series of situation. In another word, the film is truly chilling because it evokes the frightening sensation that this might happen to myself.
This film has inspired generations of filmmakers from the French new wave to Quentin Tarantino, because it is a masterpiece of low budget esthetics. It is indeed one of the most influential film in film history.
Produced with a next-to-nothing budget and a production schedule of a mere week of shooting, the precision of and ingenuity of Edgar G. Ulmer's direction realized a rich cinematic universe filled with extremely expressive details. Take for instance the way the lighting changes from naturalistic style to a haunting spot-lighting effect on Tom Neal's eyes as he goes into a flashback of his doomed story (a technic that, by the way, Scorsese has stolen so effectively in THE AGE OF INNOCENCE) . Or the cleverness of expressing his nightmarish state of mind simply by shifting the focus of his point of view shot in and out.
Even though it is a low budget film in which it was impossible to hire known actors, the performance is incredible. Tom Neil's haunting voice-over sets up the entire mood so effectively, and Ann Savage is... well, she is the ultimate femme fatale, so savage and brutal.
Before the DVD release, I had been able to see the film only with dupy grainy prints and low quality video. But now we have the DVD which is TRANSFERRED FROM THE ORIGINAL CAMERA NEGATIVE.
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