Film Noir Friday: Detour


Hey, everyone! It’s Friday! Time to kickback, throw off those shoes, break fast, and watch some movies already.

Here at TV’s Fault, we wish you only the best in entertainment, and this week has given you some fantastic places to turn your attention. It’s not like your job is that fun anyway.

This week I’m recommending Detour, Edward G. Ulmer’s over-the-top noir. Bordering on parody, Detour turns all of film noir’s conventions—the shadows, the sad men, the deceptive women—to 11. The men are sadder; the women are meaner; and the shadows practically drape every frame in darkness. This one remains one of the most original and strangest movies of the era, an absolute classic.

Detour follows Al Roberts, hitchhiker and existential nightmare. On his way from New York to Los Angeles, Al takes a ride from a gambler who ends up dying mysteriously along the way. So, like any character that follows in the blankness and malaise of a Camus character, Al steals the gambler’s identity, because what is identity anyway? Of course, things only get worse from here, especially when Vera, the gambler’s old flame, and one hell of blackmailer, gets involved.

Ulmer’s style loved to heighten the rules any genre film made and Detour was no exception. Everything about the film screams noir, especially the sullen narration that carries the film. He frames his characters, particularly Vera, as if they were monsters, and the performance Savage delivers only complements that. Things get out of control fast, but the tension remains throughout the film.

Here’s the best part, you can watch it all for free on YouTube. Check it out in the link below. Enjoy!


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