Richard Schickel is a great lover of Billy Wilder's Double Indemnity
, one of the earliest and best examples of film noir.
In this lively book, Schickel provides an engrossing account of how the movie's screenplay was written. He compares the film to James M. Cain's novel and talks about how screenwriters Wilder and Raymond Chandler tried to improve upon it. He quotes generously from the film's dialogue and waxes admiringly upon its sleekness and style. Schickel's deep affection is infectious. His book encourages you to hear the movie through his enthusiastic ears and see it through his delighted eyes.
About the Author
is film critic ofTime
. His most recent book isBrando: A Life in Our Times.