Saturday, May 3, 2014


Barbara Stanwyck, third from left, and Fred MacMurray await their cues.

"Double Indemnity" recently had its 70th anniversary. The Billy Wilder directed film is a top contender for best noir of all time.  It features great performances by Fred MacMurray (Walter Neff), Barbara Stanwyck (Phyllis Dietrichson) and Edward G. Robinson (Barton Keyes) and is packed with classic dialog:

Walter Neff: I was thinking about that dame upstairs, and the way she had looked at me, and I wanted to see her again, close, without that silly staircase between us.

Phyllis: We're both rotten.
Walter Neff: Only you're a little more rotten.

Edward S. Norton: That witness from the train, what was his name?
Barton Keyes: His name was Jackson. Probably still is.

The terrific script unfolds mainly in flashbacks. Wilder and Raymond Chandler adapted the James M. Caine novel of the same title. Chandler, a dean of Los Angeles crime fiction, makes a cameo appearance in the film -- see the clip, below:

 Check out the clip below, in which Walter spills the details of his crimes:

Below, another rarely seen production shot from the film:

Police guard the wartime rationed canned goods used on the set.

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