Directed by Edgar G. Ulmer
Starring Tom Neal, Ann Savage, Claudia Drake, Edmund MacDonald
Detour (1945) is a cheap little noir picture from Poverty Row. So why is Criterion bothering with it? Because it’s also one of the finest examples of film noir out there — and maybe Edgar G. Ulmer’s best film.
For decades, Detour‘s many devotees have suffered through horrible video transfers that make it look even more low-rent than it really is. In some ways, it’s the perfect picture to get Criterion’d.
There’s some controversy about just how quick, and cheap, Detour was actually made. But regardless, Ulmer did his usual very much with very little. Fatalism drips off the screen. Ann Savage is without doubt the worst femme fatale ever — and Tom Neal is the poor sap she squashes like a bug.
This is a terrific, crazy noir picture — and it’s as essential to human existence as oxygen. Coming in March.