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Detour [Édition remasterisée]
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Detour, 1 DVD, 67 minutes
Al Roberts, pianiste dans les night-club à New York, décide de rejoindre son ami Sue à Hollywood. Par manque de moyens, il fait du stop, mais tue accidentellement Haskell le chauffeur. Par peur, il cache son cadavre et usurpe son identité. Roberts prend à son tour en charge une étrange femme, Vera, qui avait connu Haskell dans les mêmes circonstances et décide de le faire chanter pour récupérer une grosse somme d'argent dont Haskell devait hériter...Voir l'ensemble des Descriptions du produit
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Les série B sont souvent très réussies et originales. Les budgets investis n'étant pas énormes, les studios fichaient une paix royale au metteur en scène... Il est difficile de raconter l'histoire de "Détour" sans déflorer les rebondissements. En deux mots, c'est l'histoire de Al Roberts, pianiste fauché de New York, qui part en stop à Los Angeles, pour y retrouver sa petite amie chanteuse, qui tente sa chance à Hollywood. Roberts est pris en stop, par un nommé Haskell, qui a la mauvaise idée de mourir pendant le trajet, en pleine nuit, dans le desert d'Arizona... On en dira pas plus, mais avec "Détour", vous aurez le type même du Film Noir, sorte de compilation de toutes les figures de style dues au genre. Histoire racontée en flash back, avec la voix off du héros entraîné malgré lui dans des histoires sordides, une garce digne de ce nom, des complots... Et puis la mise en scène de Ulmer, qui tente avec son budget de faire au plus simple, en utilisant les éclairages contrastés pour masquer au maximum le manque de décor, laissant les arrières plans dans l'ombre.Lire la suite ›
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I knew upfront that the print quality of this film would be less than perfect. So, in order to get the very best print, I purchased all three DVDs that were available - Alpha Video, Image Entertainment, and the A2zcds.com Remastered Edition.
The A2zcds.com Remastered Edition of "Detour" is a piece of junk. Don't waste your money. It has the picture quality of an amateur You Tube video. The various shades of black and gray are broken down into large digital cubes. The digital cubes are about a half inch in size and dance all over the screen when there is any movement - which is very distracting. Also, for more than half of the movie, from the point of the movie where Tom Neal picks up Ann Savage and they begin talking in the car - the voice audio track is not in sync with the lip movement. You hear what the person says before their lips even move.
The Alpha Video release of "Detour" has problems with its grays. The grays are not crisp and have a very small hint of sepia color. Also the audio seems a little muffled.
The Image Entertainment release of "Detour" while far from perfect is the better one of the three versions currently available.
A potential ride in the form of a friendly trucker strikes up a conversation. Where you coming from? West. Where you going to? East.
Roberts is wrong, though. He's coming from Hell and he's going to Nowhere, and the last thing he needs is a chatty trucker along for company.
DETOUR is told in a flashback from that lonely stool. Roberts and his girlfriend work as pianist/singer in a fleabag club out east. Comes a foggy night and she splits up with him to pursue fame out west. Weeks later he calls and they agree to get back together. He'll come out west and they can be married.
Being down at his heels Roberts is forced to hitchhike to California. All goes well until he reaches Arizona, where Fate deals Roberts one nasty hand after another. In short order the innocent Roberts finds and feels himself a hunted man.
DETOUR is a wonderful film. Neal is perfect as the moody young musician who finds himself trapped first by and accident and later by femme fatale Ann Savage, who know his terrible secret and has no scruples against using it against him for her own nefarious purposes. Veteran B-movie director Edgar Ulmer has enough tricks up his sleeves to surmount the Poverty Row studio conditions he was working under. If you're a fan of film noir, or enjoy hard-bitten stories, you'll enjoy DETOUR.
By the way, my thirty year old first edition copy of The Film Encyclopedia had an interesting entry on DETOUR'S star Tom Neal. He received a law degree from Harvard University in 1938. Throughout the forties he appeared in a number of B-movies, usually cast as a tough guy. In 1951 he found himself in the middle of a love triangle involving Franchot Tone and Barbara Payton. Neal "smashed" Tone's nose and a scandal ensued. Neal became poison and no studio would employ him, so he became a gardener and later established a landscaping business. In 1965 he was accused of murdering his wife. Able to prove that the gun went off accidentally, Neal had the charges reduced to manslaughter and served a six-year sentence. He died in 1971.
Ann Savage's character Vera is perhaps the most blunt, cold, evil, wholly unlikable woman I have ever heard tell of. It is quite easy to see why the man we meet in the opening scene is as hateful and short-tempered as he is. As we flash back to the whole story of Roberts' hard times, accompanied by plenty of voiceover narration, one cannot help but feel sorry for the guy. His initial decision to cover up the death of the guy who picked him up is a bad, undeniably stupid, mistake, but he certainly does not deserve the level of vitriol and pure evil that afflicts him in the form of Vera. The ending is a tiny bit flat, but the story itself is fascinating and the performances of Neal and Savage are not to be missed. Detour is vintage film noir and should not be missed by any and all fans of the genre.