Detour (1945) Questions (Spoiler Alert)

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mwalls

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Detour (1945) Questions (Spoiler Alert)

PostWed Mar 15, 2017 7:41 pm

I watched Detour on TCM's new series Noir Alley on Sunday. It was my second time viewing the film. I have three questions Spoiler Alert

1. When Al first picks up Vera at the gas station, she supposedly goes right to sleep. Sometime later she suddenly springs to life and verbally attacks Al and entirely takes control of the situation. It seems odd that she would go right to sleep in a car with someone who she suspected killed the guy who owned the car. It also seems odd that she would suddenly snap out of her sleep to interrogate Al like she did. Instead of sleeping, was she playing possum while she was calculating/scheming?

2. At the end of the movie, Al climbs into the cop car. It seems incredible to assume the police would know where to pick him up. Could they have just been called because he was being unruly in the diner? I know, I know, per the code he had to be punished. Is that all this was, meaning a hopelessly unrealistic ending to comply with the code? I would have much preferred to see the ending of Al hitchhiking down the road off into the darkness.

3. In the closing comments, Eddie Muller recounted a visit he has to Ann Savage's apartment. While I do believe that she may have shown him some weapons to get a point across (maybe), telling him to get on his knees sounded a bit like theatrics to make the story juicier. Any thoughts on the veracity of the whole thing?

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Matthew
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Brooksie

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Re: Detour (1945) Questions (Spoiler Alert)

PostThu Mar 16, 2017 1:15 pm

mwalls wrote:At the end of the movie, Al climbs into the cop car. It seems incredible to assume the police would know where to pick him up. Could they have just been called because he was being unruly in the diner? I know, I know, per the code he had to be punished. Is that all this was, meaning a hopelessly unrealistic ending to comply with the code? I would have much preferred to see the ending of Al hitchhiking down the road off into the darkness.


It's been a while since I saw it, but I recall the story this way: Tom Neal's character is a marked man almost from the beginning - possibly from the moment he caused the ruckus in the café, but certainly once he's taken the dead man's ID. When he accidentally kills Vera, his goose is cooked. The police will be after him for any one of these transgressions, and when they catch him, his alibis won't stand up.

I interpreted the title not only literally - his misadventure begins when he's sidetracked on his way to visit his girlfriend - but metaphorically, representing his temporary escape from his inevitable fate. He could keep running, but he knows he'll be caught eventually. His surrender to the police represents the end of the detour.

You might like to check out Savage Detours: The Life and Work of Ann Savage. Only Eddie Muller knows whether his story is true, but she was certainly a very feisty lady.

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