Edgar G. Ulmer’s 1945 classic, made at the Poverty Row production company PRC somewhere between 14 and 18 shooting days for $100,000, has come to be regarded, justifiably, as the essence of film noir. Ulmer and his team turned the very cheapness of the enterprise into an aesthetic asset and created a film experience that reeks of sweat, rust, and mildew. For years, Detour was only available in dupey, substandard prints, which seemed appropriate. In the ’90s, a photochemical restoration improved matters, but the quality was far from optimal. Now we have a restoration of a different order, made from vastly superior elements. “To be able to see so much detail in the frame, in the settings and in the faces of the actors,” says Martin Scorsese, “is truly startling, and it makes for a far richer and deeper experience.” A Janus Films release.
Restored by the Academy Film Archive and The Film Foundation, in collaboration with the Cinémathèque Royale de Belgique, The Museum of Modern Art, and the Cinémathèque Française, with funding from the George Lucas Family Foundation.