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Double Indemnity on Masters of Cinema Blu-ray in June

10 May 2012
"Double Indemnity is the finest picture of its kind ever made, and I make that flat
statement without any fear of getting indigestion later from eating my words."
Louella Parsons
"Since Double Indemnity, the two most important
words in motion pictures are 'Billy' and 'Wilder'."
Alfred Hitchcock


Double Indemnity is the dazzling, quintessential film noir whose enormous popular success and seven Oscar nominations catapulted Billy Wilder (Some Like It Hot, Sunset Boulevard, The Apartment) into the very top tier of Hollywood's writer-directors. Adapted from a novella by James M. Cain (The Postman Always Rings Twice), co-written by Wilder and Raymond Chandler (The Big Sleep, The Long Goodbye), Double Indemnity remains the hardest-boiled of delectations.

Insurance hawker Walter Neff (Fred MacMurray) gets seduced by some other man's wife: a bored, sex-starved Barbara Stanwyck done up in lorry-grille wig and a pair of lips like wine grapes smashed in candle-wax. She wants to off her better half and collect on his policy, but spitfire claims-adjuster Barton Keyes (Edward G. Robinson) smells a rat – or at least the cheap perfume all over that Dietrichson file.

Neff himself ties up the twisting plot in a neat bow: "We were talking about automobile insurance, only you were thinking about murder. And I was thinking about that anklet."

The film was nominated for seven Oscars at the 1945 Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director (Billy Wilder), Best Actress (Barbara Stanwyck), Best Screenplay (Wilder and Raymond Chandler), Best Cinematography (John F. Seitz), Best Score (Miklós Rózsa), Best Sound Recording (Loren Ryder).

Double Indemnity will be released on Blu-ray for the first time anywhere in the world as part of the Masters of Cinema series on 25th June 2012 at the RRP of £20.42 for the standard Blu-ray and £30.63 for the Limited Steelbook Edition.

Featurinh an exclusive new high-definition restoration, officially licensed from Universal Pictures and optional English subtitles for the deaf and hearing-impaired, the disc will have the following extras:

  • Shadows of Suspense — a 2006 documentary featuring film historians, directors, and authors discussing the making of Double Indemnity;
  • 1945 Screen Guild Theater radio adaptation of Double Indemnity, starring Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray;
  • The original theatrical trailer;
  • 36-PAGE BOOKLET featuring a 1976 interview by John Allyn with Billy Wilder; an extract from a 1976 interview with James M. Cain comparing his original serial with Wilder's film adaptation; documentation of novelist and Double Indemnity co-screenwriter Raymond Chandler's attitude toward working within the Hollywood studio system; an extract from the original screenplay depicting the excised "death chamber: ending; a note on the restoration; and rare archival imagery.