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Double Indemnity

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Double Indemnity PG rating

Barbara Stanwyck is the housewife who dupes an insurance salesman into a devious murder plot, in this giant of American cinema - the archetypal Film Noir.

Crime 1944 108 mins

Director: Billy Wilder

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Overview

Barbara Stanwyck plays the housewife who manipulates insurance salesman Fred MacMurray into a devious murder plot, in this pillar of classic American cinema - the film that codified the conventions of the cynical crime genre known as Film Noir.

Nominated for seven Academy Awards but winner of none, Double Indemnity instead went on to inspire countless imitators as Film Noir became the genre to capture the imagination of post-war America. In terms of crime fiction lore, the film’s pedigree could hardly be more substantial, with Raymond Chandler adapting a book from James M. Cain. But though its eventual script would become a classic, its success was the result of a tortuous period of development between Chandler and one of Hollywood’s most prestigious directors, Billy Wilder. Wilder’s impatience with the hard-drinking Chandler would inspire the subject of his following film, Lost Weekend, the story of an alcoholic writer and his subsequent redemption.

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