Saturday, June 9, 2007

Detour (1945)

Directed by Edgar G. Ulmer. Starring Tom Neal and Ann Savage.

B-pictures in the 1940s were scruffy and scuzzy, shot quickly and on the cheap, and starring grade-Z has-beens and never-would-bes. They were inconsequential and forgettable as a rule, merely whetting the appetite for the more expensive and respectable A-picture on the double-bill. Yet, after many of those other films have faded from memory, DETOUR endures. Perhaps this story of a lovesick loser's domination by a "dame with claws" lives on because it so perfectly conveyed the desperate sleazy essence of what was later dubbed film noir. Stars Neal and Savage would never be mistaken for good actors, but they were just right for DETOUR.

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