Detour (1945)

Edgar G. Ulmer

A B picture that has become a film noir classic, Detour was made in just 6 days and follows Al Roberts (Tom Neal) a piano player in a sleazy New York nightclub who is trying to hitch a ride to Hollywood to find his girlfriend who earlier headed there in search of stardom. Al gets a lift with a talkative, drug-addicted businessman who mysteriously dies during the trip. Frightened that he will be blamed for the death, Al hides the body in a ditch and assumes the businessman’s identity. Needing company, he picks up Vera (Ann Savage), a fellow hitchhiker who knows of Al’s deception. Most notable for its strong use of genre traits, Detour is stuck somewhere between atmospheric thriller and heightened melodrama.

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