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Billy Wilder’s 1944 film noir crime masterwork Double Indemnity, co-written by Wilder and Raymond Chandler, with the screenplay was based on James M. Cain's 1943 novella of the same name, stars Fred MacMurray as an insurance salesman, Barbara Stanwyck as a provocative housewife who wishes her husband were dead, and Edward G. Robinson as a claims adjuster whose job is to find phony claims. The term "double indemnity" refers to a clause in certain life insurance policies that doubles the payout in rare cases when death is caused accidentally, such as while riding a railway.

Praised by many critics when first released, Double Indemnity was nominated for seven Academy Awards but did not win any. Widely regarded as a classic, it is often cited as having set the standard for the films that followed in that genre.

Deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" by the U.S. Library of Congress in 1992, Double Indemnity was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.


Anatole Litvak's gripping thriller stars Barbara Stanwyck as bed ridden New York heiress Leona Stevenson, whose only access to the outside world is through her husband Henry (Burt Lancaster) or via the telephone. One night while trying to reach her husband at the office, the number is misdialled and she overhears two men planning to kill a woman later that evening. With the clock ticking can she prevent the murder? Adapted for the screen by Lucille Fletcher from her legendary 1943 radio play, Sorry, Wrong Number is a tense, stylish Mystery/ Drama with excellent performances from Stanwyck and Lancaster.

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