MUBI brings you a great new film every day.  Start your 7-day free trial today!

Fate deals a bad hand

By Pan32 on February 16, 2012

Detour (1945) Raoul Ruiz was an admirer of this film for its poetic values exemplified by its technical shortcomings. and certainly its threadbare production values are much in evidence. It fulfills Godard’s idea that a film should look like a film: maybe that’s where he got it, watching these old Hollywood creations. Perhaps what Ruiz saw was the analogue of the Brutalist aesthetic in architecture: bare concrete surfaces still bearing the marks of shuttering and exposed conduit and plywood or now days MDF. I wonder what the film’s director Edgar G. Ulmer would have thought of Ruiz’s opinion. My guess he would have much preferred a large budget. One place its director didn’t scrimp was in the car that features for much of the film, a late 40s Lincoln Zephyr Continental Cabriolet. Tom Neal, the protagonist, (Al Roberts) wanted to be inconspicuous but gave no sense of seeing the car as a an attention getter it would have been in those days. The film plods along for half its run time and then: Whamo! Enter Vera (Ann Savage—can that be her real name?) and the film takes off with a bang. Obviously writer/screenplay author Martin Goldsmith is due a lot of the credit.

Fate deals another joker to Al.