Detour

From Poverty Row came a movie that, perhaps more than any other, epitomizes the dark fatalism at the heart of film noir. As he hitchhikes his way from New York to Los Angeles, a down-on-his-luck nightclub pianist (Tom Neal) finds himself with a dead body on his hands and nowhere to run—a waking nightmare that goes from bad to worse when he picks up the most vicious femme fatale in cinema history, Ann Savage’s snarling, monstrously conniving drifter Vera. Working with no-name stars on a bargain-basement budget, B auteur Edgar G. Ulmer turned threadbare production values and seedy, low-rent atmosphere into indelible pulp poetry. Long unavailable in a format in which its hard-boiled beauty could be fully appreciated, Detour haunts anew in its first major restoration.


Detour was restored by the Academy Film Archive and The Film Foundation in collaboration with the Cinémathèque Royale de Belgique, The Museum of Modern Art, and the Cinémathèque Française. Restoration funding provided by the George Lucas Family Foundation.

Film Info

  • Edgar G. Ulmer
  • United States
  • 1945
  • 69 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 1.37:1
  • English
  • Spine #966

Special Features

  • New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Edgar G. Ulmer: The Man Off-Screen, a 2004 documentary featuring interviews with actor Ann Savage and filmmakers Roger Corman, Joe Dante, and Wim Wenders 
  • New interview with film scholar Noah Isenberg, author of Edgar G. Ulmer: A Filmmaker at the Margins 
  • New program about the restoration
  • Janus Films rerelease trailer
  • PLUS: An essay by critic and poet Robert Polito 

New cover by Jennifer Dionisio

Purchase Options

Special Features

  • New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Edgar G. Ulmer: The Man Off-Screen, a 2004 documentary featuring interviews with actor Ann Savage and filmmakers Roger Corman, Joe Dante, and Wim Wenders 
  • New interview with film scholar Noah Isenberg, author of Edgar G. Ulmer: A Filmmaker at the Margins 
  • New program about the restoration
  • Janus Films rerelease trailer
  • PLUS: An essay by critic and poet Robert Polito 

New cover by Jennifer Dionisio

Detour
Cast
Tom Neal
Al Roberts
Ann Savage
Vera
Claudia Drake
Sue Harvey
Edmund MacDonald
Charles Haskell Jr.
Tim Ryan
Gus, diner proprietor
Esther Howard
Hedy, waitress
Pat Gleason
Joe, truck driver
Credits
Director
Edgar G. Ulmer
Produced by
Leon Fromkess
Screenplay and original story by
Martin Goldsmith
Director of photography
Benjamin H. Kline
Edited by
George McGuire
Art director
Edward C. Jewell
Musical score
Erdody

From The Current

A Recipe for Quick and Dirty Noir
A Recipe for Quick and Dirty Noir

Scholar Noah Isenberg explains how director Edgar G. Ulmer made Detour, the mother of all B noirs, on a tight schedule and tiny budget.

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Some Detours to Detour
Some Detours to Detour

Obsessed with Edgar G. Ulmer’s B-movie masterpiece from the first time he saw it, writer Robert Polito dives deep into the past to unravel the mysteries surrounding a film that almost never existed.

By Robert Polito

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