Earlier this week I remarked on Twitter how much I enjoyed Stanley Kubrik's 1956 movie about a race track heist, The Killing. Jack Shafer replied, "Okay, now you're ready for Detour (Edgar G. Ulmer). It will change your life."
I checked Netflix and learned that Detour isn't available there. But I remembered that archive.org has a large collection of public domain movies, so I looked there and lo and behold, they had it. I downloaded the highest resolution version watched it. The quality was quite good, aside from a couple of wobbly parts and a second of missing dialogue.
Jack steered me straight. This 1946 black-and-white film is as grim, hard-boiled, and twisty as any film noir title I've ever seen. Al (Tom Neal) plays a talented pianist stuck in cheap joint in New York. He's got an attitude to match the atmosphere (when a patron gives him a ten-dollar tip after he plays an insanely complex piece, he remarks that it's just "a piece of paper crawling with germs.")
Naturally, Al falls for the house singer, but she won't marry him because he doesn't have enough money. When she goes to Hollywood to try to become an actress, Al quits his job and starts hitchhiking across the country to be with her. He doesn't know it, but when a flashy loudmouth in a big car picks him up, Al's fate is sealed. Ann Savage, playing a femme fatale who seethes with bitter poison, is a show stealer.
It turns out that Archive.org has a collection of 43 film noir titles. If you've seen any of them, I'd appreciate it if you added your recommendations in the comments.
Archive.org's Welcome to Film Noir: expressionistic crime dramas of the 40s and 50s: tough cops and private eyes, femme fatales, mean city streets and deserted backroads, bags of loot and dirty double-crossers.
LA is chock full of beautiful theaters, but the one to be at on Wednesday nights is the famous Fais Do-Do Ballroom. It’s not because of the rich history that oozes from its architectural pores – it’s because that’s where Scot Nery will be. And when you go to his show, don’t be surprised if […]
With the cacophony of an election year ablaze with unparalleled drama being fought on the front lines of Twitter, we find ourselves slowing down and staring at it like a bad accident. The need for escapist relief is perhaps more dire than usual right now. This fall, if it’s drama you crave, but the Hillary […]
TMZ reports that Miss Cleo is dead at 53. The TV psychic, also known as Youree Harris, was famous for the character’s faux-Jamaican accent and the bizarre Tarot-themed advertising campaigns exhorting Americans to call in for a reading. You couldn’t fool Miss Cleo, went the catchy 90s’ tagline, but the entertainer could not fool the […]
These days, the vape market is saturated with low-quality products, making it nearly impossible to separate the gems from the duds. The Atmos Rx Dry Herb Vaporizer stands out from crowd for two reasons: its impressive battery life and durable construction. This high-end little gadget is compact enough to fit in your pocket, and packs a powerful punch, […]
If you’re like us, you occasionally get ambitious with your dinner and try to cook multiple sides plus a main dish. These efforts usually end as a cold meal plus a pile of dishes to wash. MasterPan Multi-Sectional Meal Skillet makes it super easy to make multiple dishes at once without the hassle. This heavy gauge bottom pan […]
The Lytro Illum is our all-time best-selling camera and here’s our best deal yet. Apply the code “Lytro10” to save an extra 10% off on this camera’s mind-blowing functionality in this exclusive one day only sale.