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"Detour" custom movie trailer

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Uploaded on Jun 27, 2009

Another custom trailer I cut for a favorite film - this time it's the 1945 film noir classic, DETOUR, starring the aptly named Ann Savage as the vicious Vera.

Detour (1945) is a film noir cult classic that stars Tom Neal, Ann Savage, Claudia Drake, and Edmund MacDonald. The movie was adapted by Martin Goldsmith and Martin Mooney (uncredited) from Goldsmith's novel, and was directed by Edgar G. Ulmer. The 68-minute film was released by the Producers Releasing Corporation (PRC), one of the so-called "poverty row" film studios.

Although made on a small budget and containing only rudimentary sets and camera work, the film has garnered substantial praise through the years and is held in high regard. The film has fallen into the public domain and is freely available from online sources. There are also many DVD editions.
Conceived as a B-movie, Detour was shot in six days with a budget of approximately $20,000.

With re-shoots out of the question for such a low budget movie, director Edgar G. Ulmer made the decision to place storytelling conventions above continuity. Detour's famous example of this is the reversal of the hitchhiking scenes. In order to parallel the westbound New York to Los Angeles travel of the character with right-to-left movement across the screen, many scenes had to be flipped. This caused the cars to appear to be driving on the wrong side of the road, and the hitchhiker to enter the car on the driver's side.

In 1992, Detour was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". Critical response to the film today is almost universally positive. Most reviewers contrast the technical shoddiness of the film with its successful atmospherics. Film critic Roger Ebert wrote:

"This movie from Hollywood's poverty row, shot in six days, filled with technical errors and ham-handed narrative, starring a man who can only pout and a woman who can only sneer, should have faded from sight soon after it was released in 1945. And yet it lives on, haunting and creepy, an embodiment of the guilty soul of film noir. No one who has seen it has easily forgotten it."

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