The Video Vacuum (thevideovacuum) wrote,
The Video Vacuum

DETOUR (1945) ****

This low budget film noir from P.R.C. (Producer's Releasing Company, or Poverty Row) is a classic of the genre. It was filmed on a shoestring budget by Edgar G. (The Amazing Transparent Man) Ullmer. Tom Neal stars as Roberts, a down on his luck piano player who hitchhikes cross country to L.A. to be with his best gal. When a motorist who gave him a lift dies mysteriously, Roberts hesitantly assumes his identity and takes his car. When Roberts picks up a femme fatale named Vera (Anne Savage) who knew the dead man, she makes his life a living Hell. The performances of both Neal and Savage as well as the hard boiled dialogue ("There oughta be a law against dames with claws!") makes this a must see and Vera's final fate is amazing. The film's coda was imposed by The Hayes Office who said that Neal had to be punished for his wrongdoing, although he's really just a victim of circumstance. Ullmer had a long and varied career, directing everything from horror movies to westerns and even nudies. This was remade in 1989 with Tom Neal, Jr. Remember: "Fate or some mysterious force can put the finger on you or me for no good reason at all!"
Tags: cult, d, thriller

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