15 June 2024

From the Moment They Met It Was Murder:
Double Indemnity and the Rise of Film Noir

Alain Silver and James Ursini have dominated film noir scholarship with their Film Noir Reader series and three different books titled Film Noir: an encyclopedia (co-edited with Elizabeth Ward and Robert Porfirio), a recent anthology, and a Taschen guide. They have also written The Noir Style and American Neo-Noir, among other books on the subject.

It’s fitting that the leading experts on film noir should write a book on Billy Wilder’s classic thriller Double Indemnity, which is the quintessential noir film. Their new book From the Moment They Met It Was Murder: Double Indemnity and the Rise of Film Noir, released this year to mark the film’s eightieth anniversary, highlights its unmatched influence on noir cinema: “We cannot overstate the influence of Double Indemnity on the film noir movement. Before 1944 there was a trickle of titles. After there was a flood.”

The book (dedicated to Richard Schickel, who wrote a BFI Film Classics study of the film) also covers the true-crime origins of Double Indemnity’s plot (including the famous Daily News photograph of Ruth Snyder in the electric chair), Wilder’s reluctant co-writer Raymond Chandler, and the film’s production history. Silver and Ursini provide plenty of new analysis, though they also recycle some material from the Double Indemnity entry in their film noir encyclopedia.

1 comment(s):

Matthew Hunt said...

Hachette: https://www.hachettebookgroup.com/titles/alain-silver/from-the-moment-they-met-it-was-murder/9780762484935/?lens=running-press

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