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“Detour”: National Film Registry #4

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In 1992, among the films added to the National Film Registry was the unforgettable noir, “Detour.”  Though made a staggering 73 years ago, when viewed today, “Detour” is as hard-hitting as it ever was.  The story of one of the most brutal road trips ever depicted on film, “Detour” was the work of director Edgar G. Ulmer, of whom J. Hoberman once wrote:

“‘Yes, Virginia, there is an Edgar G. Ulmer,’ Andrew Sarris chuckled in ‘The American Cinema,’ as though the idea of this unique director — a bargain-basement maestro who epitomized the category Sarris termed ‘expressive esoterica’ — was even more remarkable than the director himself. But Edgar George Ulmer (1900-1972), a filmmaker who set up aesthetic shop in the recesses of Poverty Row, requires no indulgence. The man was a hero.”

Read the rest of J. Hoberman’s take on “Detour” (PDF), one of the greatest and grittiest B movies ever made.


Title:  “Detour”

Year of Release:  1945

Year Added to the National Film Registry:  1992  (See all films added to the Registry in 1992.)

Trivia:  “Detour” was the first so-called “B” movie ever added to the National Film Registry.

This blog post is the fourth of 30 in our” 30 Years of the National Film Registry” series which was launched to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Registry.  The National Film Registry selects 25 films each year showcasing the range and diversity of American film heritage to increase awareness for its preservation.  The 30th National Film Registry selections will be announced on December 12, 2018.



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