Directed by Billy Wilder
Running time: 107 minutes
Billy Wilders classic film noir masterpiece Double Indemnity (1944) is a cynical, witty thriller about adultery, corruption and murder. Shot in and around Los Angeles, it's loosely based on James M. Cain's novel from 1943 and was adapted by Wilder and Raymond Chandler for the screen. Barbara Stanwyck plays the alluring Phyllis Dietrichson, a housewife who seduces and then convinces successful insurance salesman Walter Neff (Fred MacMurray) to sell her husband a 50,000 double indemnity policy before arranging his accidental death. Edward G. Robinson stars as Barton Keyes, the brilliant claims adjustor who tries to uncover them. Cain's story, whose title refers to a clause in certain life insurance policies that doubles the payout in cases when death is caused on a train or by public transport, was based on the real-life crime in March 1927 by a Queens housewife, the trial for which he attended during his stint as a journalist in New York. Told in flash-back, with an essentially enigmatic relationship at its core, it's widely considered one of the best of its genre, influencing scores of subsequent film noirs, in particular The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946), Body Heat (1981) and The Last Seduction (1994). Nominated for seven Academy Awards, it was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry and ranked #38 on the American Film Institute's list of '100 best American films of the 20th Century'.
Reservation is not necessary, but places are limited. Please arrive early to avoid disappointment.