Chris Willman
August 25, 2006 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Double Indemnity

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
Unrated
performer
Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward G. Robinson
director
Billy Wilder
author
Raymond Chandler, Billy Wilder
genre
Mystery and Thriller

We gave it an A

Raymond Chandler and director Billy Wilder turn James M. Cain’s novella Double Indemnity‘s venal insurance salesman (Fred MacMurray) into a sardonic Philip Marlowe gone wrong; Barbara Stanwyck cracks wise too, while dripping pheromones. EXTRAS Chats about noir, pulp, and Stanwyck’s cheap blond wig. ”Wilder always thought [the wig] was one of the biggest mistakes of his career,” says Lem Dobbs in one commentary. ”I think it’s perfect,” says Richard Schickel in another. Perversely fascinating: A ’73 TV remake, with a near-identical script, is claw-your-eyes-out awful.

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