New on DVD: Double Indemnity

Double Indemnity (Unrated)

The shadows look more ominous than ever in this remastered print of one of Hollywood's first films noirs. Fred MacMurray plays against type as Walter Neff, an insurance salesman who falls for a client's wife and gets snared in a scheme to kill the husband. Barbara Stanwyck thickly applies both the femme and the fatale, and Edward G. Robinson is superb as Neff's suspicious boss. This was second of four pairings for MacMurray and Stanwyck, and definitely the best. Extras on the two-disc set tend toward the scholarly, with a documentary and two commentaries. (Fun fact: Director Billy Wilder had to take a bathroom break every 15 minutes while writing the screenplay because he and co-writer Raymond Chandler couldn't stand each other.) The second disc includes a faithful 1973 television remake starring Richard Crenna. Grade: A–

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