Jake Unger 2/16/10 History of American Screenwriting: Double Indemnity The screenplay for Double Indemnity was based off a novella by James M. Cain which was also titled “Double Indemnity,” and was based on a true case, similar to the murder of Mr. Dietrichson by Walter Neff and Phyllis portrayed in the film (Wikipedia). During this time period films were quite resistant to James M. Cain stories because of the production codes, and Double Indemnity was no different because of its good-looking murderers who die at their own hands and the theme of adultery (James Naremore, More Than Night: Film Noir in its Contexts p. 82.) However, Billy Wilder and Raymond Chandler’s original screenplay was not completely true to the James M. Cain novella, and Wilder was able to convince Paramount to make the film. In the novella, the story ends when both the main characters commit suicide ( ). In Wilder’s film, which almost follows the script verbatim (
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