Double Indemnity (1944) 4K Restoration
Director: Billy Wilder Run Time: 107 min. Release Year: 1944
Starring: Barbara Stanwyck, Edward G. Robinson, Fred MacMurray, Porter Hall, Richard Gaines
Country: United States
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About the film:
A seductive housewife (Barbara Stanwyck) and a calculating insurance agent (Fred MacMurray) plot to kill her unsuspecting husband after he signs a double indemnity policy. Against a backdrop of distinctly Californian settings, the partners in crime plan the perfect murder to collect the insurance, which pays double if the death is accidental, while the salesman’s boss (Edward G. Robinson) tries to untangle their web of deception.
Director Billy Wilder and Raymond Chandler adapted the screenplay from the James M. Cain novel, and Stanwyck, MacMurray, and Robinson give some of their best performances. The film was nominated for seven Academy Awards, but did not win. In 1992, Double Indemnity (1944) was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the U.S. Library of Congress. In 2007, it was ranked 29th on AFI’s 100 best American films of all time.
About the filmmaker:
Billy Wilder was an Austrian-born American filmmaker, screenwriter, producer, artist, and journalist, whose career spanned more than 50 years and 60 films. He is regarded as one of the most brilliant and versatile filmmakers of Classic Hollywood cinema.
Wilder first became a screenwriter in the late 1920s while living in Berlin. After the rise of Adolf Hitler, Wilder, who was Jewish, left for Paris, where he made his directorial debut. He relocated to Hollywood in 1933, and in 1939 he had a hit as a co-writer of the screenplay to the screwball comedy Ninotchka. Wilder established his directorial reputation after helming Double Indemnity (1944). In 1950, he co-wrote and directed the critically acclaimed Sunset Boulevard. From the mid-1950s on, Wilder made mostly comedies. Among the classics Wilder created in this period are the darkly funny war film Stalag 17 (1953), the romantic comedies Sabrina (1954) and The Apartment (1960), the courtroom drama Witness for the Prosecution (1957), and the farces The Seven Year Itch (1955) and Some Like It Hot (1959).
Over his five decade career, he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director eight times, winning twice, and for a screenplay Academy Award 13 times, winning three times. He earned numerous lifetime honors, including AFI Life Achievement Award in 1986, the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award in 1988, and the National Medal of Arts in 1993. Wilder holds a significant place in the history of Hollywood censorship for expanding the range of acceptable subject matter.See our upcoming films