Edgar G. Ulmer's Detour has one of the more convoluted plots in film noir, packing a flashback structure, an extended voiceover, a cross-country trek, several murders and changes of identity, an unforgettable femme fatale, and one of the most wretched, masochistic antiheroes ever into its 67-minute running time. The film opens in the present, with Al Roberts (Tom Neal) an unhinged hitchhiker trying to score a ride "east." At a diner, he starts a fight with a customer who plays a jukebox tune that gives him the jitters. The song, the standard "I Canít Believe That Youíre in Love with Me," was once the favorite of him and his girlfriend. Its reappearance triggers a flood of memories that explain how the once respectable Roberts has become a pathetic bum and psychological wreck wandering along the dark highways of postwar America.
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