Linwood Dunn Theater
1313 Vine Street
Hollywood, California 90028
Restored by the Academy Film Archive and The Film Foundation in collaboration with Cinémathèque Royale de Belgique, the Museum of Modern Art and the Cinémathèque Française. Restoration funding provided by the George Lucas Family Foundation.
69 minutes, black and white, DCP
Directed by Edgar G. Ulmer. Produced by Leon Fromkess. Screenplay by Martin Goldsmith, based on his novel Detour: An Extraordinary Tale.
With special guest Arianne Ulmer Cipes.
Film noir fatalism at its rawest, Edgar G. Ulmer’s Detour is a grungy pulp hallucination, in which a down-on-his-luck pianist flashes back to his time hitchhiking west. Winding up as an accessory to murder on the open road, he becomes ensnared by feral wayfarer Vera (Ann Savage) – one of noir’s most fearsome femmes fatales – in a desperate cover-up.
Shot over six days and released by the “poverty row” studio Producers Releasing Corporation, Detour may be cinema’s most claustrophobic road movie. Roger Ebert hailed it as “haunting and creepy, an embodiment of the guilty soul of film noir,” and in 1992, the film was named to the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as a film deserving of preservation.