So there I was, Al Roberts (Tom Neal), standing on the side of the road and hitchhiking my way to Hollywood to see my stunning girlfriend, Sue (Claudia Drake), When suddenly, though and behold, a man named Charlie Haskell (Edmund MacDonald) pulled up by the side of me and told me to get into his car.
Of course I was more than happy to oblige. And so off we went, just to two of us, travelling down the highways and byways of life, talking about love, business, and affairs of the heart, whilst gradually making some miles in the process.
However, during our travels Charlie became strangely quiet. So quite in fact that when I went to check-up on him to see what was wrong, by accident Charlie slipped out of the car-door and cracked his head on the pavement below.
Obviously I panicked. Panicked like a forlorn looking reindeer caught in the headlights of oncoming traffic. And so not knowing which way to turn -- or what to do -- I hastily dumped Charlie's body into a ditch and made off with his car.
Ops! Bad move! Especially when what next transpires gets rather emotional when I bump into one of Charlie's old friend's, Vera (Ann Savage). As two hitchhikers make a deal - a heinous plan shows some devilish zeal - a car eventually goes un-sold - and at the end of the day, the final leg of this journey isn't so brave and bold.
In my most humble opinion 'Detour' was one of the most suspenseful and captivating film-noirs I've seen in ages. Well, if you're a bit like me, and you're able to look past some of its cosmetic yet dated flaws, at the very heart of this flick is a tale about a poor man who unfortunately delves into a disaster not of his own devising.
More than that, though, I also structurally saw this film in two distinct halves. With the first half centered on how the Al character got himself into this mess. And with the second half centered on the Vera character controlling the Al character, by blackmailing him into cooperating with her fraudulent money-making schemes.
Of course I do mean this with all due respect, dear reader. It's just that I wanted to show to you how structurally sound this movie truly is. Cause each element -- either combined or in sequence -- makes the conceptual narrative easier to follow, and much more enchanting to behold.
Oh! And while I'm on the topic of 'enchanting', I must say that most of the actors involved -- most notably Tom Neal and Ann Savage -- did such a good job they almost made me forget that most of this film was shot on a sound-stage. Well, from my point of view their bold and sullen performances enhanced the noir-like nature of this piece. Going so far as to say they actually made me suspend disbelief with their brash tones, bold actions, and a great voice over-narration that emotionally supercharged this adventure to it's nth degree.
Overall I'd say 'Detour' was one amazing film to sit down and watch. And I would highly recommend it to anyone who loves film-noir, captivating thrillers, plus evil looking women and downtrodden musicians.
Ha! Nuff said.
THE RATING: B-