Detour (November 7, 1945)

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Detour
 

Released on November 7 1945: Al Roberts was on a hitchhiking road trip to Hollywood when he met Vera. Some guys have all the luck, and some guys don't. Al had more than his share of luck, all bad.

Produced by Leon Fromkess

Directed by Edgar G. Ulmer

The Actors: Tom Neal (Al Roberts), Ann Savage (Vera), Claudia Drake (Sue Harvey), Edmund MacDonald (Charles Haskell Jr.), Tim Ryan (Nevada Diner owner), Esther Howard (Holly, the waitress), Pat Gleason (Joe the truck driver at the diner), Don Brodie (used car salesman), Roger Clark (cop), Eddie Hall (Tony, the mechanic), and Harry Strang (California Border Patrolman)

 

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Man with the Ragtop Blues

Some guys have all the luck . . . . Some guys don’t . . . . Al Roberts has plenty of luck . . . . All bad . . . . He plays piano in cheap nightclubs and is in love with torch singer Sue. Al wants to marry Sue, but Sue refuses his proposal because she wants to go to Hollywood and become a star so that then she can marry him and live a life of luxury

After a few weeks of sad time without his sweetheart Al decides to hitchhike to Hollywood because he wants to be with his Sue. Hitchhiking from New York to Hollywood isn’t an easy task, even back in 1945. Fortunately a fellow in a big flashy convertible picks him up and agrees to drive him all the way to Los Angeles. Every few minutes the fellow asks Al to pass him a little pill from the box in the glove compartment. As the night darkens the driver of the big, expensive convertible asks Al to drive a bit while he takes a nap. Al drives the big convertible into the night, moving mile by mile closer to Los Angeles.

Suddenly the rain begins . . . . It falls faster and harder . . . . Al looks over at the sleeping car owner and tells him loudly that he had better stop so that they can close the convertible top to keep the rain out. Al pulls over to the edge of the dark and lonely road and gets out. He walks around to the passenger side of the car where the car owner is still sleeping and opens the door . . . . And the owner falls out of the car and face down into the mud at the side of the road. The rain is still falling ever harder and the car owner is still sleeping. . . . . He will be sleeping for a long, long time. . . . The man has died in his sleep.

Al figures that he will be accused of killing the man. Al figures that if he just walks up the road and leaves the man face down in the mud next to the convertible, the death will be discovered quickly by the next passing car and he will be found walking up the road and accused of killing the man. What to do . . . What to do . . . . Al decides that his best chance of not being accused of murder is to hide the body deep in the woods and drive the car away from the spot . . . . . Maybe drive the car all the way to Los Angeles and then discard it on a quiet street and walk away.

Good plan . . . . It will work . . . . After all, he didn’t kill anyone . . . . He didn’t do anything wrong . . . . . And now Al will get to Los Angeles in a shiny new convertible and be reunited with his sweetheart. Al’s luck seems to be finally changing from bad to good . . . . . Then he spots a girl hitchhiking beside the road . . . . A young girl with a suitcase trying to catch a ride . . . . . Remembering his problems getting a ride he offers her a ride . . . . . Vera gets into the convertible and we know . . . . . We have a certain feeling. . . . . The hairs on the back of our neck suddenly stiffen . . . . The shiny new convertible rolls down the road towards Los Angeles . . . . . . Some guys have all the luck . . . . Some guys don’t. . . . Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.

Tom Neal
Tom Neal
Ann Savage
Ann Savage
Ann Savage and Tom Neal
Ann Savage and Tom Neal
Ann Savage and Tom Neal
Ann Savage and Tom Neal
Ann Savage hitchhiking
Ann Savage hitchhiking
Ann Savage and Tom Neal
Ann Savage and Tom Neal
Ann Savage
Ann Savage
Claudia Drake and Tom Neal
Claudia Drake and Tom Neal
Claudia Drake singing their song
Claudia Drake singing their song
Claudia Drake
Claudia Drake
Don Brodie
Don Brodie
Edmund MacDonald
Edmund MacDonald
Tom Neal and Pat Gleason
Tom Neal and Pat Gleason
Tom Neal and Ann Savage
Tom Neal and Ann Savage
Tom Neal and Edmund MacDonald
Tom Neal and Edmund MacDonald
Tom Neal and Esther Howard
Tom Neal and Esther Howard
Tom Neal
Tom Neal
Tom Neal and Claudia Drake
Tom Neal and Claudia Drake
Tom Neal
Tom Neal