Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Tom Neal, Ann Savage, Claudia Drake, Edmund MacDonald, Tim Ryan
Director: Edgar G. Ulmer
Genres: Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
DETOUR - DVD Movie
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And D. from NEWTON CENTER, MA
Reviewed on 4/28/2010...
Really good, but don't buy it, it's already PD.
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
dustman | Lenoir, NC USA | 03/16/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
DETOUR (1945) directed by Edgar G. Ulmer
At a running time of 67 minutes this great little "poverty row" noir had the distinction of being the first of its kind to be chosen by the Library of Congress for its National Film Registry.
Poor Al Roberts (Tom Neal) just can't catch a break. He plays piano in a New York dive so that he can scratch together enough money (in his words money is a piece of paper crawling with germs) so that he can get married to his girlfriend Sue (Claudia Drake). But wait! She has dreams of going to Hollywood so she decides to postpone the wedding indefinitely, and off she goes in search of her dreams.
I don't want to give too much away but things just go downhill from there. Either this film is the nightmare of a bum wallowing in self-pity or, if real, this cat is the unluckiest slob in the world. Just when you think his luck couldn't get worse he runs into a trainwreck named Vera (Ann Savage). Undoubtedly the most venal, selfish woman on the planet.
Vera: "Say who do you think you're talking to - a hick? Listen Mister, I been around, and I know a wrong guy when I see one."
Edgar Ulmer slipped into doing poverty row pictures but if you look real hard there are some gems out there. His 1934 movie "The Black Cat" with Karloff and Lugosi is one of my favorite horror films. In 1946 he directed a great film "The Strange Woman" based on a novel by Ben Ames Williams (Leave Her To Heaven). It starred Hedy Lamarr, George Sanders and Lewis Heyward.
Low-rent movie or not, "Detour" contains some dialogue that could serve as the Mantra for all "noir" films:
Al Roberts: "I keep tryin' to forget what happened and wondered what my life would have been like if that car of Haskell's hadn't stopped. But one thing I don't have to wonder about. I know. Someday a car will stop to pick me up that I never thumbed.
Yes -- fate, or some mysterious force can put the finger on you or me for no good reason at all."
Image is better than Alpha and A2zcds.com Remastered Edition
Thomas L. Boggio | Overland Park, KS | 03/12/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Five stars for the movie. I agree that this is a great work of film noir.
I knew upfront that the print quality of this film would be less than perfect. So, in order to get the very best print, I purchased all three DVDs that were available - Alpha Video, Image Entertainment, and the A2zcds Remastered Edition.
The A2zcds Remastered Edition of "Detour" is a piece of junk. Don't waste your money. It has the picture quality of an amateur You Tube video. The various shades of black and gray are broken down into large digital cubes. The digital cubes are about a half inch in size and dance all over the screen when there is any movement - which is very distracting. Also, for more than half of the movie, from the point of the movie where Tom Neal picks up Ann Savage and they begin talking in the car - the voice audio track is not in sync with the lip movement. You hear what the person says before their lips even move.
The Alpha Video release of "Detour" has problems with its grays. The grays are not crisp and have a very small hint of sepia color. Also, the audio seems a little muffled.
The Image Entertainment release of "Detour" while far from perfect is the better one of the three versions currently available.
POOR "IMAGE" --- GOOD MOVIE
Kuya | Pittsburgh, Pa. | 02/11/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)
"A GOOD LITTLE MOVIE BUT A BAD PICTURE. THE BACK COVER BOASTS A "PRISTINE" NEW FILM-TO-VIDEO TRANSFER FROM ORIGINAL SOURCE MATERIALS. IF THIS IS "PRISTINE" THEN I AM HANDSOME (I'M NOT). I HAVE ALWAYS TRUSTED IMAGE STUDIO BUT WILL HAVE TO INVESTIGATE FUTURE PURCHASES FURTHER. STEER CLEAR OF THIS DVD. AFTER READING REVIEWS OF OTHER STUDIOS I AM NOT SURE A GOOD TRANSFER EXISTS ANYWHERE. IT IS CERTAINLY WATCHABLE BUT A LONG DISTANCE FROM "PRISTINE"."