five years (2019-2023)
music friday: jorma kaukonen

revisiting detour

It's been ten years since I watched and wrote about Detour, the classic noir from Edgar G. Ulmer. At that time, I wrote:

What is left to say about a movie that cost about 1/5 of what we spent remodeling our house, and is now in the Library of Congress's National Film Registry? A marvel of ingenuity, and surely the best movie you could make, given $20,000 and six days. One of the least-perfect great films ... you can watch it in the spirit of Plan 9 from Outer Space and it will reward you ... but it is relentless, and Ann Savage is perhaps the #1 noir bitch in screen history.

Detour has been restored since I watched it last, and it now looks as good as any $20,000 movie can look. Perhaps it's because over the past ten years, I have watched so many Grade-Z movies and written about them, but on this revisit, I felt that Detour is a lot more perfect than I gave it credit for. Some movie has to be the ultimate cheapo classic. Detour is it.

It was this week's Movie of the Week on the upcoming Criterion Channel, and it's not hard to take it in, if you've never seen it or if it's been awhile. After all, it's only 68 minutes. And you'll never forget Ann Savage.



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