The Detour cast features Tom Neal, Ann Savage and Claudia Drake. This info article contains minor spoilers for Edgar G. Ulmer’s 1945 film noir movie (now streaming at The Criterion Channel). Check out Vague Visages’ Know the Cast section for more streaming guides.
Detour follows a New York City fella named Al. The piano player hitchhikes to Hollywood in search of his sweetheart, Sue, and ultimately catches a ride with a pill-popping bookie from Florida. When the driver suddenly dies, Al must think fast and outsmart the coppers. But when the protagonist picks up a gal named Vera, the past comes back to haunt him. Here’s every main player in the film noir classic Detour.
Detour Cast: Tom Neal as Al Roberts
Character Profile: A former New York City musician. He narrates the film from a diner in Reno, Nevada. Al covers up a murder in Arizona while looking for his ex-girlfriend, and then meets an enigmatic woman with unclear motivations.
Neal’s Resume: Fraternity Boy in The Pride of the Yankees (1942), Clifford Scott in The Brute Man (1946), Bruce Gentry in Bruce Gentry (1949), Charley Bowdry in I Shot Billy the Kid (1950), Arch Clements in The Great Jesse James Raid (1953)
Detour Cast: Ann Savage as Vera
Character Profile: A California hitchhiker. She speaks little upon being picked up by Al, and then gives him a vicious side-eye while revealing her connection to a missing man named Charles Haskell Jr. Vera orchestrates a plan that will benefit her financially.
Savage’s Resume: Vivian in One Dangerous Night (1942), Pat Benson in Two-Man Submarine (1944), Toni Kirkland in Apology for Murder (1945), Jean Shelby in Renegade Girl (1946), Mother in My Winnipeg (2007)
Detour Cast: Claudia Drake as Sue Harvey
Character Profile: Al’s ex-girlfriend. She sings at night clubs in New York and then tries her luck in Hollywood. Sue moves forward with her life while Al disappears into a nightmare.
Drake’s Resume: Inez La Barca in Border Patrol (1943), Maria Brandt in Enemy of Women (1944), Lucille Compton in The Lady Confesses (1945), Elaine Randolph in The Face of Marble (1946), Mary Manson in Renegade Girl (1946)
Detour Cast: Edmund MacDonald as Charles Haskell Jr.
Character Profile: A bookie from Florida who travels to Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California. He picks up Al in Arizona and recalls a “dame with claws.” Charles dies from a heart attack and falls on a rock; a moment that forever changes Al’s life.
MacDonald’s Resume: Hippo in Great Guns (1941), Blackie Bales in Flying Tigers (1942), Dr. Pillar in Hangmen Also Die! (1943), Lucky Brandon in The Lady Confesses (1945), Lawrence Dale in Shoot to Kill (1947)
The Detour cast also includes Tim Ryan (The Mystery of the 13th Guest, From Here to Eternity), Esther Howard (Murder, My Sweet, Born to Kill), Pat Gleason (Alice in Wonderland, The Gang’s All Here), Don Brodie (The Rookie Cop, A Fig Leaf for Eve) and Roger Clark (The Man Who Returned to Life, Angel Baby).
Q.V. Hough (@QVHough) is Vague Visages’ founding editor.