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3.8
1,763 Ratings

Detour

Directed by Edgar G. Ulmer
United States, 1945
Crime, Drama, Film noir

Synopsis

As he hitchhikes his way from New York to Los Angeles, a down-on-his-luck nightclub pianist 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 snarling, monstrously conniving drifter Vera, a vicious femme fatale.

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Detour Directed by Edgar G. Ulmer
Glauber Rocha has nothing on Edgar G. Ulmer’s aesthetics of hunger. . . . Ulmer’s threadbare bondage-noir masterpiece grinds Double Indemnity into powdered milk, moving from one magnificently decomposing shot to another until its circular roadside desert becomes the stuff of nightmares.
September 25, 2010
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Detour is the masterpiece of this type of film. More shots cut into 15 pieces, 283 cuts in 69 minutes, or 47 cuts a day, doubtless derived from 25 filmed shots. This film, conceived to the PRC rule, has amazingly survived the oblivion for which it was designed. So we have a cult-film released in France forty-eight years after its making – that’s a record – which captivates all true filmmakers: a model of rigour, a Greek tragedy that transcends its banal material.
January 01, 2002
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What can you say about a 69-minute grade-Z production from 1945 starring a catatonic unknown (Tom Neal) and the most metaphysically distressing actress ever to grace an American film (Ann Savage) that takes place mainly in front of a rear projection screen . . . —except that it’s one of the most daring and thoroughly perverse works of art ever to come out of Hollywood?
January 01, 1980
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