Although they had a rocky relationship along the way, the dream team of director Billy Wilder and writer Raymond Chandler proved the perfect couple to adapt James M. Cain’s hard-boiled novel. Double Indemnity is a wildly thrilling story of an insurance man (Fred MacMurray) who schemes the perfect murder with a beautiful dame (Barbara Stanwyck): kill her husband and make off with the insurance money. A mixture of dark, shadowy intrigue and wry, deadly humour, Double Indemnity is the gold standard of film noir in its 40s heyday.
‘This shrewd, smoothly tawdry thriller, directed by Billy Wilder, is one of the high points of nineteen-forties films. Barbara Stanwyck’s Phyllis Dietrichson… is perhaps the best acted and the most fixating of all the slutty, cold-blooded femmes fatales of the film-noir genre.’ Pauline Kael, The New Yorker
‘Who would have thought a movie about an insurance guy could be so bitter, so suspenseful, so heartbreaking?’ Paul Howlett, The Guardian