Errol Morris' favorite film. He said of it: "It has an unparalleled quality of despair, totally unrelieved by hope."
Ann Savage and Tom Neal made three movies together at Columbia Pictures before Detour. PRC re-teamed them for "Detour" to exploit the publicity and press buildup they had been given in 1943 and 1944.
Ann Savage worked on her biography for the last decade of her life. It was released in early 2010 called 'Savage Detours'.
It is frequently reported that this film was shot only in one week. In truth, the shooting schedule was 28 days. The "one week" myth appears to be based on an off-hand remark by director Edgar G. Ulmer toward the end of his life.
Shot quickly in mostly two locations: the hotel room apartment, and the car in front of a rear projection screen on a soundstage at PRC. The actual shooting schedule was 28 days, including a brief location shoot in Lancaster, California for the desert scenes, and backplates for rear projection.
The budget PRC gave director Edgar G. Ulmer for this film was so small that the 1941 Lincoln Continental V-12 convertible driven by Charles Haskell was actually Ulmer's personal car.
Was the first "B" movie chosen by the Library of Congress for its National Film Registry, in 1992. Also the first Hollywood "Noir" honored.
While setting up to film a hitchhiking scene, a passing car tried to pick up Ann Savage (made up to look dirty and disheveled), causing laughter in the rest of the crew.