Double Indemnity


Author: James M. Cain

Publisher: Vintage Crime/Black Lizard

ISBN: 0307778428

Category: Fiction

Page: 128

View: 1106

James M. Cain, virtuoso of the roman noir, gives us a tautly narrated and excruciatingly suspenseful story in Double Indemnity, an X-ray view of guilt, of duplicity, and of the kind of obsessive, loveless love that devastates everything it touches. Walter Huff was an insurance salesman with an unfailing instinct for clients who might be in trouble, and his instinct led him to Phyllis Nirdlinger. Phyllis wanted to buy an accident policy on her husband. Then she wanted her husband to have an accident. Walter wanted Phyllis. To get her, he would arrange the perfect murder and betray everything he had ever lived for.

Double Indemnity

The Complete Screenplay


Author: Billy Wilder,Raymond Chandler

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 9780520922815

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 139

View: 5421

On every level -- writing, direction, acting -- Double Indemnity (1944) is a triumph and stands as one of the greatest achievements in Billy Wilder's career. Adapted from the James M. Cain novel by director Wilder and novelist Raymond Chandler, it tells the story of an insurance salesman, played by Fred MacMurray, who is lured into a murder-for-insurance plot by Barbara Stanwyck, in an archetypal femme fatale role. From its grim story to its dark, atmospheric lighting, Double Indemnity is a definitive example of World War II-era film noir. Wilder's approach is everywhere evident: in the brutal cynicism the film displays, the moral complexity, and in the empathy we feel for the killers. The film received almost unanimous critical success, garnering seven Academy Award nominations. More than fifty years later, most critics agree that this classic is one of the best films of all time. The collaboration between Wilder and Raymond Chandler produced a masterful script and some of the most memorable dialogue ever spoken in a movie. This facsimile edition of Double Indemnity contains Wilder and Chandler's original -- and quite different -- ending, published here for the first time. Jeffrey Meyers's introduction contextualizes the screenplay, providing hilarious anecdotes about the turbulent collaboration, as well as background information about Wilder and the film's casting and production.

The "Double Indemnity" Murder

Ruth Snyder, Judd Gray, And New York's Crime of the Century


Author: Landis MacKellar

Publisher: Syracuse University Press

ISBN: 9780815608240

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 411

View: 9442

Few incidents in crime history have been as notorious - yet mundane - as the 1927 murder of Queens suburbanite Albert Snyder by his wife and her lover. Resonant of the foot-loose Jazz Age, it made persistent headlines, led to a sensational trial, spawned a 1920s Broadway play, and two classic film noirs of the 1940s: Double Indemnity and The Postman Always Rings Twice. This book assesses the entire case, from grisly slaying and shabby cover-up to sharp police work and aftermath. Moreover, it explores sociocultural questions that beg to be answered: what effect does news reportage exert upon high profile cases, and why did such a transparent crime earn such an enduring place in the popular psyche. Landis MacKellar lives in Vienna and Paris. His interest in the Snyder-Gray murder began when he taught in Queens College in New York City.

The Effect of the Point of View in "Double Indemnity", Novel and Screenplay

A Comparison


Author: Kay Scheffler

Publisher: GRIN Verlag

ISBN: 3656248990

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 18

View: 1520

Seminar paper from the year 2012 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Literature, grade: 1,3, University of Würzburg (Neuphilologisches Institut), course: Film Noir and Literature (Hauptseminar), language: English, abstract: In 1927, a woman named Ruth Snyder and a man named Judd Gray were sentenced to death by the electric chair, because they murdered the husband of Ruth, Albert Snyder. They murdered him for a 48,000$ life insurance with a double indemnity clause in it. Both of them also had an affair before they decided to murder Ruth's husband. Judd Gray was a corset salesman. Present to the trial was James M. Cain, at that time working as a reporter. Many believe that this case gave Cain the idea for one of his most famous novels, Double Indemnity. Several signs lead to that conclusion. First of all Ruth was unhappily married and began an affair with a salesman. Secondly her husband had already been married once, before he married Ruth, but his first wife died of pneumonia. Furthermore, the two of them had a daughter named Lorraine, who shares the same first two letters in her name with the Lola in Double Indemnity, daughter of Mr. and Ms. Nirdlinger. Moreover Ruth's husband was killed for the money of his life insurance, which contained a double indemnity clause. And last but not least they tried to disguise the murder as an accident, to collect on the double indemnity (see Many say that Double Indemnity was one of Cain's masterpieces, and it was made into a movie, which was named after the novel. It is even said, by some, to have heavily influenced the roman noir genre, as the movie is said to have had a great impact on the film noir genre (see Skenazy, 34/134; Marling, 263). The aim of this term paper is not to give an overview of what is roman, or film noir. It is just going to point out one specific feature of both of the genres, and will try to give an explanation what makes this feature so special. The feature spoken of is the point of view (or perspective, or focalisation). First, there will be the chapters two and three concerning the theoretical background of point of view in novels and screenplays. This will be done rather briefly and roughly, because this term paper is focused more on the effect of the point of view than the way it is structured. Chapters four and five then go into detail on the point of view in Double Indemnity, novel and screenplay. Over the course of these two chapters, two special effects will be highlighted, the 'Foreshadowing' and the way in which the reader's, or the audience's estimation of the characters is influenced. This is followed in the last chapter by a conclusion.

Huffed Masculinity. The Female Threat in Cain's "Double Indemnity"


Author: Stephan Riedl

Publisher: GRIN Verlag

ISBN: 366845230X

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 17

View: 5386

Seminar paper from the year 2016 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Literature, grade: 2,0, University of Koblenz-Landau, language: English, abstract: "Double Indemnity" was first published in 1935 and affirmed James M. Cain’s status as a novelist. By reading it, one can learn why, but that is not the only observation that can be made. It is noticeable that Phyllis, the Femme Fatale of the story, constantly oversteps the boundaries of her gender, thus posing a threat to men. The question that started this Term Paper was: How much of a threat to patriarchal masculinity is Phyllis and is this threat contained? The thesis is that Phyllis subverts patriarchal masculinity in two spheres, the business sphere and the domestic sphere and by doing this, threatens it. The goal is to look at several instances where she does it and deduct if the threat she poses is contained or not. In order to prove this thesis, a very short overview of the concept of sex and gender will be given which is a basic concept in cultural studies and needed when moving on to discuss masculinity during the 1930s. This will be followed by a look at the term hard-boiled fiction as it was perceived back then and the main character and the femme fatale of said genre. The literary analysis consists of a look at the world itself by using Huff’s casino metaphor, a closer look at Phyllis’s and Mr. Nirdlinger’s relationship, concluded with Phyllis’s motivation. Based on the theory and the analysis, it will be discussed if the female threat is contained or not and an outlook will be given.


The Sequence Approach


Author: Paul Joseph Gulino

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA

ISBN: 1628922397

Category: Social Science

Page: 224

View: 5918

The great challenge in writing a feature-length screenplay is sustaining audience involvement from page one through 120. Screenwriting: The Sequence Approach expounds on an often-overlooked tool that can be key in solving this problem. A screenplay can be understood as being built of sequences of about fifteen pages each, and by focusing on solving the dramatic aspects of each of these sequences in detail, a writer can more easily conquer the challenges posed by the script as a whole. The sequence approach has its foundation in early Hollywood cinema (until the 1950s, most screenplays were formatted with sequences explicitly identified), and has been rediscovered and used effectively at such film schools as the University of Southern California, Columbia University and Chapman University. This book exposes a wide audience to the approach for the first time, introducing the concept then providing a sequence analysis of eleven significant feature films made between 1940 and 2000: The Shop Around The Corner / Double Indemnity / Nights of Cabiria / North By Northwest / Lawrence of Arabia / The Graduate / One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest / Toy Story / Air Force One / Being John Malkovich / The Fellowship of the Ring

Analyzing Patriarchal Gender Relations Within Double Indemnity (1944)


Author: Anonym

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9783668193291


Page: 24

View: 9495

Seminar paper from the year 2012 in the subject American Studies - Miscellaneous, grade: 1,3, University of Mannheim, course: Film Noir, language: English, abstract: In the course of my paper, I explore how Billy Wilder's film "Double Indemnity" (1944) depicts patriarchal gender relations and why Phyllis Dietrichson's character is socially relevant and a testament to those patriarchal structures of her time. I will start by establishing the concept of Patriarchy in chapter 2. The chapter is important to clarify basic ideas that emerged from gender studies and lay a foundation. Chapter 3 introduces the femme fatale as a female archetype in Film noir. Here, I will point out what characterizes the showpiece-femme fatale, with reference to the socio-cultural background. The following Chapter is the main focus of my paper: The analysis of Phyllis Dietrichson in "Double Indemnity" (1944). After a short introduction to her character, I will examine Phyllis in relation to men. This is pivotal for the success of this paper. How is she affected by patriarchal gender relations and why is her womanhood threatening to men? And since we are dealing with a filmy analysis, how is this cinematically staged? Chapter 5 will concentrate on the relationship between Walter Neff and Barton Keyes. I decided to add this chapter because their male-male bond reinforces patriarchal ideas and is a perfect contrast to the relationships of Phyllis with Walter and her husband. By tradition, the conclusion is the finishing part of my paper.

Voices in the Dark

The Narrative Patterns of Film Noir


Author: J. P. Telotte

Publisher: University of Illinois Press

ISBN: 9780252060564

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 248

View: 7827

The American film noir, the genre that focused on urban crime and corruption in the 1940's and 1950's, exhibits the greatest amount of narrative experimentation in the modern American cinema. Spurred by postwar disillusionment, cold war anxieties, and changing social circumstances, these films revealed the dark side of American life and created unique narrative structures to speak of that darkness.

Double indemnity


Author: Richard Schickel

Publisher: British Film Institute


Category: History

Page: 72

View: 7548

A new kind of film emerged from Hollywood in the early 1940s, thrillers that derived their plots from the hard-boiled school of crime fiction but with a style all their own. Appearing in 1944, 'Double Indemnity' was a key film in the definition of the genre that came to be known as film noir. Its script creates two unforgettable criminal characters; the cynically manipulative Phyllis Dietrichson (Barbara Stanwyck) and the likeable but amoral Walter Neff (Fred MacMurray). Billy Wilder's brilliant direction enmeshes them in chiaroscuro patterns, the bright California sun throwing shadows of venetian blinds across dusty rooms, shafts of harsh lamplight cutting through the night. Richard Schickel traces in fascinating detail the genesis of the film; its literary origins in the crime fiction of the 1930s, the difficult relations between Wilder and his scriptwriter Raymond Chandler, the casting of a reluctant Fred MacMurray, the late decision to cut from the film the expensively shot final sequence of Neff's execution. This elegantly written account, copiously illustrated, confirms a new the status of Double Indemnity as an undisputed classic.

Overtones and Undertones

Reading Film Music


Author: Royal S. Brown

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 9780520914773

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 396

View: 885

Since the days of silent films, music has been integral to the cinematic experience, serving, variously, to allay audiences' fears of the dark and to heighten a film's emotional impact. Yet viewers are often unaware of its presence. In this bold, insightful book, film and music scholar and critic Royal S. Brown invites readers not only to "hear" the film score, but to understand it in relation to what they "see." Unlike earlier books, which offered historical, technical, and sociopolitical analyses, Overtones and Undertones draws on film, music, and narrative theory to provide the first comprehensive aesthetics of film music. Focusing on how the film/score interaction influences our response to cinematic situations, Brown traces the history of film music from its beginnings, covering both American and European cinema. At the heart of his book are close readings of several of the best film/score interactions, including Psycho, Laura, The Sea Hawk, Double Indemnity, and Pierrot le Fou. In revealing interviews with Bernard Herrmann, Miklós Rósza, Henry Mancini, and others, Brown also allows the composers to speak for themselves. A complete discography and bibliography conclude the volume.