Cine Savant Column

Tuesday September 18, 2018


A brief news bit today. Just last night the Academy screened Edgar G. Ulmer’s amazing ‘loser noir’ classic Detour, the new restoration that premiered at the AMIA’s The Reel Thing a few weeks back. As one of the more desired of Hollywood pictures partly tied up in the hands of private collectors, Detour has been languishing in an unrestored state far too long. I wasn’t able to attend last night’s scheduled screening, and am curious to know what if anything was said about the film’s ownership status. Ulmer’s daughter Arianné Ulmer Cipes has been promoting her father’s career and restoring his films for the last 25 years or so; finally bringing the director’s most celebrated picture back to the fore must be a big step for her. I interviewed Arianné about life her with her adventurous filmmaking parents on last year’s Blu-ray of The Man from Planet X. Around 2003 or so she opened her files to show me PRC paperwork proving that Detour wasn’t quite the phantom shoestring film that overzealous reviewers had made it out to be — its shooting schedule was brief but she assured me that the budget ($135,000, I think) was above average for a PRC picture in 1945. When Arianné wrote to let me know me about last night’s screening she hinted that a Blu-ray would be on the way soon, from Criterion. I hope that works out to be true.

The Criterion Collection did just announce its December titles: Donald Sutherland in A Dry White Season, Sam Fuller’s Forty Guns (↑), Ingmar Bergman’s Sawdust and Tinsel, and Julien Duvivier’s highly-recommended Panique. Plus Olive Films has released full extras details for its Olive Signature disc of Invasion of the Body Snatchers: two audio commentaries and multiple retrospective featurettes. The presence of the late Kevin McCarthy and Dana Wynter in the extras may mean that Olive has been able to access highly desirable materials assembled upwards of ten years ago, for a special edition that was never released.

Thanks for reading! — Glenn Erickson