August 2022 / THE CHASE and DETOUR


The Film Foundation Restoration Screening Room Resource Guide for

THE CHASE (dir. Arthur Ripley, 1946) and

DETOUR (dir. Edgar Ulmer, 1945)

Presented in The Film Foundation Restoration Screening Room in August 2022 in partnership with UCLA Film & Television Archive, The Academy Film Archive, Kino Lorber, Janus Films, and The Criterion Collection

Table of Contents

1) Film Description THE CHASE

2) Film Description DETOUR

3) Special Features

-Benicio del Toro and Kent Jones in Conversation

-Guy Maddin Interview

-May Hong HaDuong introduces THE CHASE

-Restoring DETOUR

4) EXPLORE Page Materials

-FIlms to Watch

-Video Extras

-Reading List (Books)

-Reading List (Online) 

-The FIlm Foundation on Letterboxd 

5) Double Feature Live Screening Commentary Script

Based on Cornell Woolrich’s novel The Black Path of Fear, THE CHASE stars Robert Cummings as a shell-shocked ex-GI tormented by bizarre dreams. He falls into a job as a chauffeur for gangster Steve Cochran and henchman Peter Lorre. In classic film noir style, the hero falls for a femme fatale, Michèle Morgan, who talks him into running away with her to Havana, even though she is married to his boss. The film has an intriguing dreamlike atmosphere, created in large part by the beautiful black and white expressionistic photography from the great cinematographer Franz Planer.

After a decade-long search for elements, UCLA Film & Television Archive acquired a 35mm nitrate composite dupe negative from a collector in France, and dupe picture and track negatives from MGM. Though all elements are incomplete and exhibit considerable physical wear, they are the only known surviving 35mm materials. Combining these incomplete elements, UCLA completed a photochemical restoration using digital tools to restore a short section.

Restored by the UCLA Film and Television Archive, with funding provided by The Film Foundation and the Franco-American Cultural Fund, a unique partnership between the Directors Guild of America (DGA); the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA); the Société des Auteurs, Compositeurs et Editeurs de Musique (SACEM); and the Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW).

DETOUR begins as down and out New York nightclub musician Al Roberts (Tom Neal) tells his tale of woe at a roadside diner. In an extended flashback, he recounts how on his way to join his girlfriend, Sue (Claudia Drake), in Los Angeles, he hitched a ride with con man Charles Haskell (Edmund MacDonald), who mysteriously died. Al fears he will be blamed if he goes to the police and assumes the dead man’s identity instead. Al runs into a new set of troubles when he picks up a hitchhiker, Vera (Ann Savage), who knew Haskell and uses Al’s lies against him. Al must find a way to get out of Vera’s clutches if he ever hopes to be reunited with Sue.

The primary source for this 4K digital restoration of DETOUR was a 35mm nitrate composite print with French and Flemish subtitles from the Cinémathèque Royale de Belgique. A 35mm safety duplicate picture negative from The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) was used as a compositing source to remove the subtitles. Digital painting techniques were used when the MoMA source did not contain the necessary frames. One shot was missing in both the Cinémathèque Royale and MoMA sources. This shot was incorporated into the restoration from a 35mm safety composite print from the Cinémathèque Française. Roundabout Entertainment in Burbank, CA, completed the digital image restoration. The audio was restored by Audio Mechanics, also in Burbank, using three 35mm prints and one 16mm print.

Restored by the Academy Film Archive and The Film Foundation in collaboration with Cinémathèque Royale de Belgique, The Museum of Modern Art, and the Cinémathèque Française. Restoration funding provided by the Hobson/Lucas Family Foundation.

Benicio del Toro and Kent Jones in Conversation

Guy Maddin Interview

May Hong HaDuong introduces THE CHASE

Restoring DETOUR

Films to Watch


Video Extras


Noah Isenberg talks about the personal nature of DETOUR for The Criterion Collection.

Eddie Muller introduces DETOUR on TCM, available to watch on YouTube.

Film critic J. Hoberman and film programmer Dan Sullivan discuss Edgar Ulmer for Film at Lincoln Center.

Reading List (Books)


The Black Path of Fear (Cornell Woolrich, 1944).


Edgar G. Ulmer: A Filmmaker at the Margins (Noah Isenberg, 2014)

Kings of the Bs (eds. Todd McCarthy and Charles Flynn, 1975)

Dark City Dames: The Wicked Women of Film Noir (Eddie Muller, 2002)

Who the Devil Made It (Peter Bogdanovich, 1997)

The Films in My Life (François Truffaut, 1975)

The Book of Film Noir (ed. Ian Cameron, 1993)

Reading List (Online)


David Bordwell writes “In Pursuit of The Chase” for his blog Observations on film art.

David Bordwell is “Back on the trail of the The Chase” for his blog Observations on film art.

Glenn Erickson writes about THE CHASE for Trailers From Hell.

THE CHASE was once "The Movie of the Week" for Life Magazine.

Alan K. Rode tells “The Philip Yordan Story,” the screenwriter of THE CHASE, for The Film Noir Foundation.


An extensive Edgar Ulmer overview is available on Senses of Cinema.

Film critic J. Hoberman on Detour, originally written for The B List: The National Society of Film Critics on the Low-Budget Beauties, Genre-Bending Mavericks, and Cult Classics We Love and reprinted by The Library of Congress.

Robert Polito writes about “Some Detours to Detour” for The Criterion Collection.

Tag Gallagher goes long on DETOUR for Screening the Past.

The Film Foundation on Letterboxd


Written and Directed by Arthur Ripley

Starring Robert Cummings

Shot by Franz Planer


Directed by Edgar Ulmer

Starring Ann Savage

Shot by Benjamin H. Kline

THE CHASE + DETOUR - Live Screening Commentary Script


Welcome to The Film Foundation Restoration Screening Room! Tonight we’re screening a double feature of THE CHASE (1946, d. Arthur Ripley) and DETOUR (1945, d. Edgar Ulmer).

You can stay with us here in the chat to learn more about the film as you watch or you can view the films full screen on-demand at 7pm. 

In this chat mode the screening is live and picture controls (rewind/fast forward/pause) will not be available. If you miss anything or need to take a break, that functionality is available when watching on-demand.

Thanks for being here and we encourage you to share your thoughts on the movies as we go, making this a communal virtual viewing experience!


00:00:00 – 00:10:00

Nero Films was the independent production company of Seymour Nebenzal. They started out in Germany and made films with G.W. Pabst and Fritz Lang, including PANDORA’S BOX (1929) and THE TESTAMENT OF DR. MABUSE (1933). Nebenzal fled Germany in 1933 and re-established his company, eventually making films again, including THE CHASE (1946) and Joseph Losey’s remake of M (1951).

 For more on Nero Films and Seymour Nebenzal, you can watch an interview with his son, Harold Nebenzal, available on the Criterion Channel and linked to below:


The second eye to appear in the peephole belongs to none other than the great character actor Peter Lorre, who also started out in Germany working with Fritz Lang, and came to America when Hitler took power. He worked with many great directors including Alfred Hitchcock, Rouben Mamoulian, Robert Florey, Michael Curtiz, Frank Borzage, John Huston, and even Jerry Lewis.

Be sure to watch our interview with director Guy Maddin, a huge Lorre fan, about his work in THE CHASE and in other films, including Maddin’s favorite THE FACE BEHIND THE MASK (1941). The interview is available on this page.


00:10:00 – 00:20:00

Eddie Roman is played by actor Steve Cochran. THE CHASE wasn’t his first screen role but it was considered his breakthrough. He had a busy career, moving from movies to television until his untimely and scandalous death in 1965. He was aboard a yacht with three teenage women when he died and the boat remained at sea for 10 days—the young women didn’t know how to operate the boat—before it was found.


00:20:00 – 00:30:00

French actress Michèle Morgan plays Lorna Roman. Her career started out in France working with Marc Allégret, Marcel Carné, and the great Jean Grémillon. World War II brought her to Hollywood and from there she would have a varied career, leaving a lasting impression in Carol Reed’s classic THE FALLEN IDOL (1948) and winning the first Best Actress Award at the Cannes Film Festival.


THE CHASE was based on Cornell Woolrich’s 1944 novel “The Black Path of Fear.” Woolrich was known for his crime dramas and using pseudonyms. His stories were the basis for many movies, including Truffaut’s THE BRIDE WORE BLACK (1968), Siodmak’s PHANTOM LADY (1944), and the Susan Hayward vehicle DEADLINE AT DAWN (1946).

Be sure to watch our conversation, available on this page, between Benicio Del Toro and Kent Jones to learn more about Woolrich. 


00:30:00 – 00:40:00

“The Black Path of Fear” was adapted by notorious and prolific Hollywood screenwriter Philip Yordan. Yordan often served as a front for blacklisted screenwriters in Hollywood during the McCarthy era, though he was also known as a credit-grabber before that and to this day it’s unclear what screenplays he actually wrote.

To learn more, please read The Film Noir Foundation’s in-depth exploration of Philip Yordan’s career, linked to below:


00:40:00 – 00:50:00

THE CHASE was restored by UCLA’s Film & Television Archive. Be sure to listen to our introduction from the archive’s Director, May Hong HaDuong, which is available on this page. In the introduction she discusses the extensive search for the materials needed for the complicated restoration and their various collaborations with different organizations.

Star Robert Cummings was studying aeronautical engineering at the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh when he started to get interested in acting and performed in several plays. He eventually started to look for work in acting and he eventually got his Hollywood break in King Vidor’s SO RED THE ROSE in 1935.

 You can also learn more about Cummings’s film career via our Letterboxd list below: 


 00:50:00 – 01:00:00

THE CHASE was shot by cinematographer Franz Planer. He trained as a portrait painter in his native Austria-Hungary before turning his eye toward filmmaking. He started shooting films in the early 1920 in Germany before moving to the US in the 1930s, where he worked with George Cukor, Robert Florey, Edgar Ulmer, Max Ophuls, Robert Siodmak, Richard Fleischer, and Blake Edwards, among many others.

 You can also learn more about Planer’s extensive filmography via our Letterboxd list below:

01:00:00 – 01:10:00

Filmmaker Guy Maddin has compared THE CHASE to the cinema of David Lynch and more specifically Steve Cochran’s character Eddie Roman to Dennis Hopper’s character Frank Booth from David Lynch’s BLUE VELVET (1986).

Be sure to watch our interview with director Guy Maddin, available on this page, about both THE CHASE and Edgar Ulmer’s DETOUR.


01:10:00 – 01:20:00

In his article “In Pursuit of The Chase” from his blog Observations on film art, critic David Bordwell writes:

But now comes an astonishing twist, not in the novel. Gino finds Chuck hiding behind a curtain, shoots him, and dumps his body down a trap door. The body lies lifeless on the stairs.”

For an in-depth dive into the history and plot of THE CHASE, be sure to read Bordwell’s entire piece, linked to below:


Director Arthur Ripley started out in Hollywood as an apprentice before becoming a writer for Mack Sennett and working with a young Frank Capra on Harry Langdon films. In the 1940s, he would go on to direct his own films before working in television and finally becoming the first Professor of Cinema Arts at UCLA.

You can also learn more about Ripley’s filmmaking career via our Letterboxd list below:


01:20:00 – end

Thank you so much for joining us!

THE CHASE was restored by the UCLA Film & Television Archive, with funding provided by The Film Foundation and the Franco-American Cultural Fund, a unique partnership between the Directors Guild of America (DGA); the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA); the Société des Auteurs, Compositeurs et Editeurs de Musique (SACEM); and the Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW).

Special thanks to Kino Lorber for supporting this presentation.


00:00:00 – 00:10:00

Actor Tom Neal is best known for his performance in DETOUR (1945) and for his own sordid life, which included a scandalous relationship with Barbara Payton and eventually being convicted of killing his wife Gale Bennett. At other points in his life Neal was an amateur boxer and a landscaper.

Edgar G. Ulmer was a Jewish-Moravian, Austrian-American film director best known for making B-Movies in Hollywood. He became known as both “The King of PRC” for his large output working for Producers Releasing Corporation and later more generally as “King of the B’s.”

Learn more about Ulmer’s prolific career, including directing Yiddish films, on our Letterboxd page, linked to below:


  00:10:00 – 00:20:00

In a video interview with the Criterion Collection, critic Noah Isenberg equates the journey of the main character Al Roberts with that of Ulmer’s own career. A link to an excerpt of Isenberg’s interview is below:


 00:20:00 – 00:30:00

DETOUR’s cinematographer Benjamin H. Kline started shooting movies in the silent era, working on his first film in 1920, and continued working until 1972. In that time he shot around 350 films and television shows and with B-Movie greats like Roy William Neil, Edgar Ulmer, William Castle, and Edward Cahn.

 You can also learn more about Kline’s extensive filmography via our Letterboxd list below:

The process to restore DETOUR involved a lot of work from incredible people like the director of the Academy Film Archive Mike Pogorzelski, film preservationist Heather Linville, and Edgar Ulmer’s own daughter Arianné Ulmer Cipes. Be sure to watch The Criterion Collection documentary about all of their work on DETOUR, which is available on this page..


00:30:00 – 00:40:00

In his introduction to DETOUR on TCM, Noir historian Eddie Muller said:

“One day, an older, more experienced movie buff told me I hadn’t seen nothing until I’d seen an actress named Ann Savage, in a grungy little B-movie called DETOUR. She played a character known only as ‘Vera,’ whom this guy advertised as ‘the meanest woman in the history of the movies.’”

You can find Muller’s complete introduction linked to below:


Actress Ann Savage was in more than twenty B-Movies between the years 1943-1946 before mostly quitting acting in the 1950s. She is best known for her work in Edgar Ulmer’s DETOUR and was reintroduced to fans when she appeared in Guy Maddin’s 2007 film MY WINNIPEG.

To learn more about Savage and to explore her filmography, visit our Letterboxd link below:


00:40:00 – 00:50:00

As evidenced by his casting of Savage in MY WINNIPEG, director Guy Maddin is a longtime Edgar Ulmer fan.  Be sure to watch our video interview with him, available on this page, where he talks about his special experience working with Savage.


00:50:00 - The End

DETOUR was restored by the Academy Film Archive and The Film Foundation in collaboration with Cinémathèque Royale de Belgique, The Museum of Modern Art, and the Cinémathèque Française. Restoration funding was provided by the Hobson/Lucas Family Foundation.

Special thanks to Janus Films and the Criterion Collection for supporting this presentation.

We look forward to seeing you next month, on Monday, September 12, for Sarah Maldoror’s SAMBIZANGA (1972)