IA #50: Detour (1945)

 Detour (1945) on IMDb

Leonard Maltin wrote that Detour “is the quintessence of film noir.” (He also said it was shot in six days, but later research suggests it took about a month.) A New York nightclub pianist hitchhikes to Hollywood to join his girlfriend. After a lowlife driver dies mysteriously, the pianist takes his identity to avoid police investigation. Then a woman discovers the ruse and starts applying pressure.

In 1992, Detour was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress. There are at least a half-dozen copies in the Internet Archive. I hope I picked the best copy from its Feature Films collection for this entry in the IA Top 100.