Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Film Series, Envisioning Los Angeles: Past, Present, Future – Double Indemnity
5905 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036
1944/b&w/106 min./35mm. Scr: Billy Wilder, Raymond Chandler; dir: Billy Wilder; w/ Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward G. Robinson, Jean Heather, Tom Powers.
Billy Wilder’s fourth film and his first full-blown noir stars Barbara Stanwyck as a delectably venomous housewife ensconced in her Spanish Colonial Revival mansion who ensnares downtown insurance salesman Fred MacMurray in a plot to murder her husband and land the two conspirators a hefty payday. A potent blend of sizzling hard-boiled dialogue—co-written by noir master Raymond Chandler and adapted from a novella by James M. Cain—and evocative locations (the Hollywood Bowl, Glendale train station, Jerry’s Market on Melrose), Double Indemnity set the template for noirs to come—the ironic narration, flashback storyline, and acidic femme fatale are all deployed by Wilder and Chandler impeccably. It also etched into the minds of viewers and filmmakers alike a vision of Los Angeles as the ne plus ultra noir metropolis, a modern frontier of concrete, cars and corruption hiding in plain (and ample) daylight.
Bing Theater | $10 general admission; $7 LACMA members, seniors (62+), and students with valid ID; $5 LACMA Film Club. | Tickets: 323 857-6010 or purchase online.
In conjunction with the exhibition The Presence of the Past, this film series curated by Bernardo Rondeau, Assistant Curator of Film, aims to capture representations of past, present and future Los Angeles onscreen.