The Associated Press is reporting that Ann Savage, an indelible presence in several low budget classics of the 1940s and 50s, died on Christmas Day from complications following a series of strokes. The complete obituary is here.
Savage will always be known for the attic intensity of her performance in Edgar G. Ulmer’s
“Detour,” which elevates the film noir convention of the femme fatale to mythological levels of implacable, impersonal fury. But she was also memorable in a number of other films: Lew Landers’s 1944 “Two Man Submarine” (her first appearance with the Tracy to her Hepburn, Tom Neal); as a wisecracking reporter with something extra in the Paramount Pine-Thomas b-picture “Midnight Manhunt” (1945); her steely reinterpretation of the Barbara Stanwyck role in “Apology for Murder,” Sam Newfield’s 1945 virtual remake of “Double Indemnity; as a victim of fate herself in Newfield’s 1946 “Lady Chaser”; leading a band of Civil War raiders in William Berke’s “Renegade Girl” (1946); as a dance hall girl in Allan Dwan’s 1953 dominatrix western “The Woman They Almost Lynched.” Neglected for decades, she received some long overdue recognition with her return to the screen as the unyielding mother in Guy Maddin’s 2007 “docu-fantasia” “My Winnipeg.”
“Listen, mister. I been around, and I know a wrong guy when I see one. What did you do, kiss him with a wrench?”