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Detour [VHS]

3.8 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Tom Neal, Ann Savage, Claudia Drake, Edmund MacDonald, Tim Ryan
  • Directors: Edgar G. Ulmer
  • Writers: Martin Mooney, Martin Goldsmith
  • Producers: Leon Fromkess, Martin Mooney
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Cherry Red
  • VHS Release Date: 24 Jan. 2000
  • Run Time: 65 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004CM7K
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 388,094 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Director Edgar Ulmer's acclaimed film noir. Al Roberts (Tom Neal) is a piano player in a restaurant in New York City. His fiancée Sue (Claudia Drake) is a nightclub singer, desperate for fame. She leaves for Hollywood, and he decides to follow her. He hitches a lift with a drugged-up businessman (Edmund MacDonald) who dies during the journey. Fearing that he will be blamed for the murder, Roberts buries the body, but events soon spiral out of his control.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This DVD edition was done by cokroaches I suspect. The digital
transfer has a quality much lower than the multitude of illegal
copies that you can download using BitTorrent.

Editions like this make the pirate bay look like editors of the
Criterion Collection. Let me just enumerate some items to ponder upon:

1. Frame rate is somewhere in the vicinity of the silent movie era
frame rate, probably around 18/20 fps.

2. Interlacing problems. Is seems to have been bootlegged from a 720i
digital tv feed.

3. Video-audio synch problems.

4. No menus.

5. No extra features.

6. In Linux mplayer refused to read the DVD. Only VLC or xine will
take it.

Thing like this happen when the people selling the rights do not have
the authors best interest in mind. They're just after a quick
buck. Let those who come after worry. Not even the rights holders
best interests are served. They gave permission for this company of
cockroach DVD editors to botch up a great film. Originally the film
was done on the cheap by a poverty row studio. That doesn't mean that
it must have an underdog DVD edition like the present.

It's a great film. A true classic. Get it in a decent edition.

Stay away from this cockroach edition by the "Pickwick Group" &
"Elstree Hill Entertaiment".

I surely will avoid any of their other offerings. I do have great
respect for cockroaches, the insects. They have their place in the
gene pool. But companies like the "Pickwick Group" &
"Elstree Hill Entertaiment" have no place in the free market. If this
DVD edition isn't a scam, then surely I will need to revise my notion
of it.

I hope Amazon give them the boot. They're costing them money. I just
printed my return label. It's a returner.
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Format: DVD
"That's life," says two-bit loser Al Roberts. "Whichever way you turn, Fate sticks out a foot to trip you." Roberts, played by Tom Neal, is the whining, complaining protagonist in Detour, one of the worst, and best, pulp noirs you'll ever enjoy. And if Roberts doesn't have a good moment in any of the film's 67 minutes, you will if you get a kick out of pulp fiction so ripe it'll remind you of how old Charles Haskell's corpse is. Roberts, a piano player in a New York nightclub, was hitch hiking to L.A. to reunite with the woman he loves, his girlfriend Sue. When Haskell stops and gives him a ride, then dies of a heart attack, Roberts makes the first of many bad decisions. Haskell had several hundred in his wallet and three big, raw scratches on one hand. Wouldn't you know it, after ditching the body, taking the cash, the car and Haskell's identity, Roberts winds up stopping to pick up a hitchhiker...who turns out to be the dame who gave Haskell those scratches. "Man, she looked like she'd just been thrown off the crummiest freight train in the world," Roberts says. We can see for ourselves. Vera (Ann Savage) is tough as nails. She's a tramp. She's poison. She knows Roberts isn't Haskell. She sets a hook in Roberts' mouth and pulls him around from one scheme to the next to get money. When Roberts finally resists...well, see the movie.

How can a film be so bad yet be so satisfying? It was shot by Edgar Ulmer in only six days on a tiny budget and looks it. Ulmer probably paid more for all that rear screen projection than he did for the actors. Neal and Savage are barely even B-level quality. The movie is hardly more than an hour long. And yet...

First, the movie moves quickly. There is absolutely no wasted time, even when Ulmer is padding out a few shots.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
My low rating is not for the film itself, but for this DVD release. It is transfered from a pretty damaged print, with scratches and marks in most scenes and even a few missing frames and dropouts in sound. What's worse, there are no subtitles, so I have no way of finding out what lines I missed other than searching online for the script. Most disappointing, a cult classic deserves better treatment.
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By Daniel Jolley HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 10 Sept. 2003
Format: VHS Tape
1945's Detour is not only one of your truly vintage film noir classics of all-time, it is also ranked by many among the best low-budget films ever made, largely due to the memorable performances of Tom Neal and Ann Savage. The directorial slant which frames the story is dead on, and one has to think that a larger budget would probably have done more harm than good to this gritty, realistic, film noir tour de force. Tom Neal plays Al Roberts, one of those unfortunate men who was born both stupid and incredibly unlucky. Shortly after his girl Sue up and goes to California looking for stardom, Roberts decides to go west and join her, hitchhiking his way across the country. This one fellow picks him up in Arizona and says he will take him all the way to L.A.; then the guy has the audacity to keel over dead. Afraid he will be accused of murdering the guy, Roberts decides to hide the body, take the guy's money, and assume his identity until such time as he can ditch the car in a big city. Then he himself picks up a hitchhiker, a woman who ends up being the last person on earth he would ever have wanted to encounter. Vera (Savage) know that Roberts is not the man he claims to be, and Roberts quickly finds himself quite at the mercy of this shrew of a woman. Her greed knows no bounds, and Roberts' life becomes more and more complicated and unhappy by the hour.
Ann Savage's character Vera is perhaps the most blunt, cold, evil, wholly unlikable woman I have ever heard tell of. It is quite easy to see why the man we meet in the opening scene is as hateful and short-tempered as he is. As we flash back to the whole story of Roberts' hard times, accompanied by plenty of voiceover narration, one cannot help but feel sorry for the guy.
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