The Saturday Public Domain Movie: Detour (1945)

"That's life. Whichever way you turn, Fate sticks out a foot to trip you." - Al Roberts
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detour

Here's a classic film noir for your viewing pleasure this Labor Day weekend. 

Directed by Edgar G. Ulmer and based on the novel of the same name by Martin Goldsmith, who co-wrote the screenplay, Detour stars Tom Neal as Al, a piano player who gets gets sidetracked by fate while traveling to California to be with his fiancee. He gets picked up hitchhiking by Charles Haskell Jr (Edmund MacDonald).  During Al's turn to drive, Charles dies of natural causes.  Scared that the police won't believe his story, Al decides the best thing to do is ditch Charles' body and take all his belongings. 

As he contines along the road, Al picks up a hitchhiker, Vera (Ann Savage).  Vera had previously gotten a ride from Charles so she knows something's not right and uses this information to her advantage.  When they get to Hollywood, they learn Charles had come into an inheritance.  Vera wants Al to pose and Charles and collect it, but he refuses, setting up a showdown between the two.

See why Roger Eberts said, "No one who has seen [Detour] has easily forgotten it." 

 

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