Double Indemnity

Director: Billy Wilder

(USA| 1944. Black and White. 106 mins.)

A morally flawed insurance salesman (Fred MacMurray); an irresistible femme fatale (Barbara Stanwyck) whose allure spells danger; an emotionally stunted investigator (Edward G. Robinson) representing an inhibiting rationality and retribution. In short, extraordinarily rich characterisations in a classic ‘perfect murder’ movie, open to numerous interpretations: as film noir, as critique of a loveless, materialist America; as the war between irresponsible licence and excessive reason for the discontented civilised man. The script is adapted by director Billy Wilder and Raymond Chandler from James M. Cain’s novella.

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