Double Indemnity is often regarded as the best of the Hollywood noirs, a credit to Billy Wilder as director and script-writer. The story – based on a real-life crime – is relatively straightforward. The wife and lover kill the husband for the payout on his life-insurance. The style – drawing on the German Expressionist tradition – sets the standard for the crime noir. And for a thriller, the psychology is intriguing. Barbara Stanwyck convinces as the hard-hearted female villain and Edward G.Robinson delivers a curiously likeable insurance detective.
Billy Wilder acknowledged Double Indemnity as one of the films he was most proud of.