The Difference Between Crime Flicks and Film Noirs (At Least, According to Roger Ebert)

” … the bad guys in crime movies know they’re bad and want to be, while a noir hero thinks he’s a good guy who has been ambushed by life. Al Roberts complains to us: “Whichever way you turn, fate sticks out a foot to trip you.” Most noir heroes are defeated through their weaknesses. Few have been weaker than Roberts. He narrates the movie by speaking directly to the audience, mostly in a self-pitying whine. He’s pleading his case, complaining that life hasn’t given him a fair break.” Roger Ebert, reviewing the 1945 classic Detour for his “Great Movie” site (June 7, 1998) and available at

The (appropriately stage named ) Ann Savage and Tom Neal in Detour
The (appropriately stage named ) Ann Savage and Tom Neal in Detour

I’ve heard and read about director Edgar G. Ulmer’s B-movie classic for years (starring Tom Neal as hard luck anti-hero Al Roberts and Anne Savage as Vera, the queen bee of femme fatales) but until now I was unable to access it at my usual DVD venues. Fortunately, thanks to,  I was able to watch it online in all its sordid, bleary black and white beauty. Plus read about it on the site (which contains the link to the Ebert item above.) FREE!


Author: rixbitz

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