She shoots him in the shoulder. In 1938, Walter Neff, an insurance salesman, returns to his office in downtown Los Angeles late one night. Barbara Stanwyck later reflected: "for an actress, let me tell you the way those sets were lit, the house, Walter's apartment, those dark shadows, those slices of harsh light at strange angles – all that helped my performance. [45] Unconvinced, Paramount production head Buddy DeSylva was overheard to say "We hired Barbara Stanwyck, and here we get George Washington. For example, he hung around Jerry's Market on Melrose Avenue in preparation for the scene during which Phyllis and Walter discreetly meet to plan the murder. When I was lucky, it coincided with the taste of the audience. [68], Double Indemnity has been compared with Wilder's other acclaimed film noir: Sunset Boulevard (1950). Una moglie calcolatrice incoraggia il suo benestante marito a firmare una doppia polizza assicurativa propostagli dall'astuto agente assicurativo Walter Neff. "[18] His tugging with Chandler did have a softer side, it seems: Over 60 years after the film's initial release, mystery writer and Chandler scholar Mark Coggins documented the fact that Chandler had agreed to appear in a cameo at 16 minutes into the film, glancing up from a magazine as Neff walks past outside Keyes' office. [49][50], When it came time to record the score for Double Indemnity, Lipstone made no secret that he despised what Rózsa had done, to which Wilder finally turned to him and snapped "You may be surprised to hear that I love it. Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine and Fred MacMurray are superb in this tale of love and ambition in the world of big business that went on to garner a Best Picture Oscar. "[23] The Lost Weekend was a distinguished offspring for the reconciled partnership – they left Oscar night with three Awards: Best Picture for producer Brackett, Best Director for Wilder, and a shared pair of statuettes for both for Best Screenplay. With Double Indemnity, I was lucky. After Paramount purchased the rights to the novella for Wilder, the next step was a screenplay. Wilder made the film, in part, "to explain Chandler to himself. By purchasing this item, you are transacting with Google Payments and agreeing to the Google Payments. Neff then boards the train posing as Mr Dietrichson and makes his way to the back of the train, stepping onto the platform outside to smoke a cigarette. "[26] This wig has been cited by some as being the picture's biggest flaw claiming that it looks too "fake". He finds himself trapped in a dangerous web which binds and turns him into the pawn of a calculating and manipulative woman. She does not, and he takes the gun. At the time, Seitz was the premiere director of photography on the Paramount lot; his work extended back to the silent era. [72] It was adapted to the October 15, 1948 broadcast of the Ford Theatre with Burt Lancaster and Joan Bennett[73] and the October 30, 1950 broadcast of Lux Radio Theater with MacMurray and Stanwyck.[74]. He was under the table drunk at Lucy's," a nearby watering hole for Paramount employees. Neff begins seeing Lola to keep her from going to the police with her suspicions, and later through guilt to protect her from Phyllis. a bewildered Wilder replied. [43][b], Wilder also decked Stanwyck out in the blonde wig "to complement her anklet ... and to make her look as sleazy as possible. [37], The look of the film was achieved through the work of cinematographer John F. Seitz. "[59], It was not uncommon at the time for studios to take out ads in trade journals promoting the virtues of their own films. I don't think he ever forgave me. Neff deduces she is contemplating murder, and initially wants no part of it, but eventually devises a plan to murder her husband and trigger the "double indemnity" clause, which would double the payout. In his ads, Selznick quoted various dignitaries claiming it was the finest picture they had ever seen, how it served such a noble purpose, how it elevated humanity to new levels – no high-toned platitude was too lofty to invoke. Keyes lights Neff's cigarette as they wait for the police and an ambulance. [58] James M. Cain recalled "there was a little trouble caused by this fat girl, Kate Smith, who carried on a propaganda asking people to stay away from the picture. Wilder and Chandler's Double Indemnity screenplay was included in Library of America's second volume of Chandler's work, Later Novels and Other Writings (1995). In the opening scenes, as Walter Neff stumbles off the elevator on his way to his office to record his confession, the vast two-tiered office is empty and dark. An Indian film, Jism (2003), was inspired by the film. Wilder's and Brackett's estrangement during Double Indemnity was not a permanent one. He points out that Norton and Keyes are suspicious of her. Neff warns Phyllis that pursuing the insurance claim in court risks exposing the murder. When Rózsa pointed out that Double Indemnity was a love story, Lipstone suggested his music was more appropriate to The Battle of Russia. [6] In that crime, Ruth Snyder persuaded her boyfriend, Judd Gray, to kill her husband Albert after having him take out a big insurance policy – with a double-indemnity clause. Chandler and Wilder made considerable changes to Cain's story. Wilder had worked with Seitz on his previous film, Five Graves to Cairo, in which Seitz was nominated for an Academy Award, and Wilder praised Seitz's willingness to experiment and fail. It also helped, as he freely admitted, that he drew the same salary as the two leads for fewer shooting days. Neff sees this as a way to get rid of Phyllis before she attempts to murder Lola. This was his vision of the film, and because it wasn't part of the story, Raft turned the part down. As she hugs him, Neff says "Goodbye, baby," and shoots twice, killing her. So we just took out the scene in the gas chamber,"[35] despite its $150,000 cost to the studio. He later summoned Rózsa to his office and reprimanded him for writing "Carnegie Hall music" which had no place in a film.