According to Ann Savage, she and Tom Neal did not get along during filming. Savage stated that Neal embarrassed her on the set by putting his tongue in her ear. She retaliated by slapping his face as hard as she could. After that incident, they did not speak to each other except when filming scenes.

Was the first "B" movie chosen by the Library of Congress for its National Film Registry, in 1992. Also the first Hollywood "Noir" honored.

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.

Whilst 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.

German filmmaker Wim Wenders called Ann Savage's performance as Vera "30 years ahead of its time."

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.

Ann Savage and Tom Neal made three movies together at Columbia Pictures before Detour (1945). PRC reteamed them for "Detour" to exploit the publicity and press buildup they had been given in 1943 and 1944.

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 on old U.S. Highway 6 at Actis and Rosamond, California for the desert scenes and backplates for rear projection.

The sweater worn by Ann Savage in the earlier parts of the film was yellow and belonged to Shirley Ulmer, the film's script clerk and the wife of the director. The sweater was actually a bit loose on Savage and had to be pinned in certain places so as to fit the actress more snugly. Clothes pins can be seen in some shots, especially in the 2018 restored version.

To save on production costs, Leo Erdody, the film's composer, was recorded and filmed playing two classical piano pieces - Frédéric Chopin's "Waltz No. 7 in C# minor" and Johannes Brahms' "Waltz Op. 39 no. 15 in Ab Major" - as a favor for director Edgar G. Ulmer. Al Roberts (Tom Neal) "performs" the piano pieces during scenes set in the "Break of Dawn" nightclub. Erdody's hands, in close-up, can be seen playing the Brahms.

Errol Morris' favorite film. He said of it: "It has an unparalleled quality of despair, totally unrelieved by hope."

Ann Savage worked on her biography for the last decade of her life. It was released in early 2010 called "Savage Detours."

The failure of the original copyright holder to renew the film's copyright resulted in it falling into public domain, meaning that virtually anyone could duplicate and sell a VHS/DVD copy of the film. Therefore, many of the versions of this film available on the market are either severely (and usually badly) edited and/or of extremely poor quality, having been duped from second- or third-generation (or more) copies of the film. It wasn't until 2019, when the Criterion Collection released an edition with 4K digital restoration on DVD and Blu-ray, that a high-quality version of the film was released on home video.

Haskell's Edmund MacDonald rare 1941 Lincoln Continental convertible is one of only 400 made that model year. It sold for $2,865 (over $50,000 in 2020). In excellent condition it could easily fetch $70,000 or more at auction. In 2013 one sold for a record $209,000.

The film is included on Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" list.

Peter Bogdanovich planned a remake in the mid-'70s.

This film has a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 25 critic reviews.

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die," edited by Steven Schneider.

This film is part of the Criterion Collection, spine #966.

Ann Savage was, indeed, 24 in 1945, as Tom Neal's character guesses her to be. Strangely enough, she looks at least 15 years older in this movie.

Included among the American Film Institute's 2001 list of 400 movies nominated for the top 100 Most Heart-Pounding American Movies.

Second billed Ann Savage does not appear until 32 minutes into the movie.

Ann Savage's movie contract for Detour (1945) is owned by movie actress Arlene Fontaine, niece of Hollywood bear trainer Stanley Beebe who, the same year that "Detour" was released, had his bears Rosie the Bear and Minnie the Bear in Road to Utopia (1945) at Paramount Studios.

Alfred Hitchcock Presents: The Long Shot (1955) in the first season of Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955) (November 27, 1955) has a somewhat similar plot line.

Al's arrest at the end was not in the script, but censor Joseph I. Breen at the Production Code Administration did not permit murderers to get away with their crimes, so the shot of Al being picked up by the police was included at Breen's insistence.

In this film Tom Neal plays a young man who accidentally kills two people. Eerily, fiction later turned into reality when Neal himself was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for accidentally shooting and killing his wife, Gale Bennett, and served six years in prison.

Al's accidental strangulation of Vera was not in the original script. Edgar G. Ulmer came up with it right before filming.

To show Al traveling west, shots of a U.S. map, with the camera scanning right to left, are interspersed with shots of him hitchhiking. The sequence makes sense to us because Al, his rides, and the camera's movement across the map all travel in the same direction (right to left). Later the direction is reversed (left to right) to depict Al returning back east from L.A. Without a quantity of westward-bound shots he could use nor the means to shoot new ones, Ulmer simply had the eastward-bound (left to right) shots reverse printed and used them to show Al traveling to, rather than from, L.A. This is why in the beginning of the movie we see Al hitch with his left thumb and ride in right-hand drive cars.

Edmund MacDonald who played Haskell Jr. was the oldest of the four main actors. In a case of life mirroring art, he was born in 1908 and was the first to die, passing away 6 years after the film's release in 1951 at age 43. Tom Neal was born in 1914 and passed away in 1972 at age 58. Claudia Drake was born in 1918 and passed away in 1997 at age 79. In a case of life not mirroring art (like MacDonald her character died), Ann Savage, who was born in 1921, outlived the others, passing away in 2008 at age 87.