Film 132 in the “1001 Films to See Before You Die” challenge is 1945’s “Detour”. This film-noir crime drama is 67 minutes long and is based on the 1939 novel “Detour: An Extraordinary Tale” by Martin Goldsmith. I actually liked this. I wasn’t too sure what to expect when I looked up the film on IMDb & Wikipedia but after watching this I wouldn’t mind giving it another watch if I had to. The one thing that did bug me was the ending. Within the last 10 seconds of the film, Al is arrested and taken away. To me, the ending felt a little rushed. The reason for the ending to happen the way it did was because “The Hollywood Production Code did not allow murderers to get away with their crimes, so Ulmer got through the censors by having Al picked up by a police car at the very end of the movie, after foreseeing his arrest in the earlier narration.” That quote was taken from Wikipedia. Even Roger Ebert says the film holds up in many ways. Also, this film officially turns 70 on November 30. Just thought I’d throw that in there. If you have seen this film, or the 1992 remake staring Tom Neal Jr., Tom Neal’s son, and directed by Wade Williams and has a 5/10 rating on IMDb, then let me know what you thought of them in the comments. Here is what I had to say while watching 1945’s “Detour”
Film – Detour
Year – 1945
Director – Egdar G. Ulmer
Written by – Martin Goldsmith
Staring – Tom Neal, Ann Savage, Claudia Drake
IMDb Rating – 7.5/10
My Rating – 7.5/10
Length – 67 min (1h 7min)
Genre – Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
Traveling down a lost highway as the opening credits roll
Good God I can’t see a thing
Welcome to Reno
So… This guys moving East… and with no explanation as to why
Jazz music makes me crazy!!!
Wait… That song that’s playing has been haunting him on his travels
That guy is playing the drums and no noise is being made by them
The loudest thing here is the clarinet
How are those sat at the other end of this restraunt meant to hear her sing without a microphone?
I love my piano more than Sue
It’s pretty clear that he’s not even pressing down on the keys
These two are getting married next week?!?
It’s taken me a little over 9 minutes to finally know the main actor’s name – It’s Al
Back at the “Break O’ Dawn” club
LOOK AT MY JAZZ HANDS!!!!
Thanks for playing my request. Here’s $10
Welcome to the life of a phone operator
Better phone Sue to see how things are with her
I would love to see him travel to Hollywood from New York on a pogo stick
Instead Al hitch hikes his way across America
How did he get from Philadelphia to Oklahoma to the middle of the Arizona desert?
Why did I chose to hitch hike with the one guy who doesn’t like talking?
I wonder how he got those scars on his hand!
The driver says he got them from a fight with his wife
Here’s a bigger scar I got having a friendly sword fight with my dad
Let’s chat about betting while having food
You drive! I need to sleep
Meanwhile Sue has landed a job as a jazz singer at a Hollywood club
How can it be raining in the middle of the desert?
Damn convertables and their stupid roofs
So… The driver died in his sleep… Or by hitting his head on a tiny rock after Al opened the car door
Better hide the body and steal his wallet… and clothes
WOOP WOOP IT’S THE SOUND OF THE POLICEMAN
He gives Al a warning about parking in the middle of the road
Better throw my suitcase away so no one can find out who I am
So… You’re not allowed to cross state lines while carrying any form of food
I know this isn’t my ID but I’m using it anyway
I’m having a nightmare about The Driver’s death
Is Al wearing a one piece set of PJs
I stole $768 from that guy! And he had a letter from his dad he kept for years
I better be nice and give this woman a lift
I wonder if I can have a secret relationship with this stranger?
So… this woman knows all about the guy Al accidently killed
And I’m guessing she’s his ex-wife
This woman is a little scary
She tells Al to sell the car rather than leave it in a abandoned car park
We’re in Hollywood
And this woman is now “Al’s wife”
What apartment has a swinging section of wall with a bed attached to it
Drink this and I’ll believe you that you didn’t kill him
You can tell this is a film from the 40s as all the men wear their pants halfway up their chest
While “my wife” is asleep I’d better call Sue just to hear her voice
Better do whatever she asks me to do
At a used car dealer
I’ll give you $1850 for the car
Where’s your insurance?
We’ve changed our mind about selling the car! I’ll explain everything over lunch
It appears that The Driver’s dad has put an ad in the newspaper looking for his son
She plans to wait until The Driver’s dad died to claim the $15 million he’s worth
Lets discuss this over a game of cards
I can’t tell if shes trying to flirt with Al or just playing him for a fool
Let’s make a reference to Julius Caesar… just because
Al’s daring her to call the police to see if he’s telling the truth
Al remembers that The Driver had a scar on his hand and arm
All good plans come together when your drunk
It was a trap! She’s stolen the phone and locked herself in her bedroom
She didn’t call the police! She hung herself with the telephone cord
“Murderer! What an awful word that is”
Al realises that he’s can’t get away with murder
He’s also still haunted by a jazz musician playing music in his head
Al finds out that The Driver’s body has been discovered while Al was in Bakersfield
A highway patrol officer pulls up and arrests Al