1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die Wiki
Double Indemnity.jpeg

#181. Double Indemnity

  • Year: 1944
  • Country: USA
  • Production: Paramount, 107m B&W
  • Director: Billy Wilder
  • Producer: Buddy DeSylva, Joseph Sistrom
  • Screenplay: Billy Wilder, Raymond Chandler, from the book by James M. Cain
  • Photography: John F. Seitz
  • Music: Miklós Rózsa
  • Cast: Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward G. Robinson
  • Oscar Noms: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Score, Best Sound Mixing

Abridged Book Description

Adapted by director Billy Wilder and author Raymond Chandler from the hard-boiled novel by James M. Cain, Double Indemnity is the archetypal film noir, the tale of a desperate dame and a greedy man, of murder for sordid profit and sudden, violent betrayal. Yet it has a weird, evocative romanticism ("How could I have known that murder can sometimes smell like honeysuckle?") and pays off, extraordinarily for 1944, with a confession not only of murder but also of love between two men... MacMurray spent his whole career, first at Paramount then at Disney and finally at sitcoms, as a genial nice guy, always smiling, always folksy; twice he crawled behind his smile and marvelously played a complete heel, his cleft chin sweaty and in need of a shave, his smooth salesman's talk a cover for lechery, larceny, and murderous intent.