June 1 - 24, 2017
By James M. Cain.
Adapted for the stage by David Pichette & R. Hamilton Wright
Directed by Nick Jupp, Associate Director Jocelyn LeBlanc
Double Indemnity began life as a serialized story in Liberty magazine in 1936. The 1930’s devastating economic depression was hanging on and in America hard-boiled, gritty crime stories were very popular. Cain based his story on a real murder that happened in New York in 1927. That convicted killer was executed in Sing Sing prison by electric chair and a photograph of the event was named the most famous news photo of the 1920s.
Later in 1944 Raymond Chandler and Billy Wilder wrote a screen adaptation of Cain’s Double Indemnity and it became a classic and famous example of the film noir movement that was so popular at the time. Another Cain novel, The Postman Always Rings Twice, was also adapted for the screen with similar success. The stories and movies from this period share a common trait. They are not about “who dun it” because invariably the who is going to be murdered and by whom are revealed early in the story. In Double Indemnity we get to revel in the can they do it, why are they doing it and will they get caught? Mix in some deceit, treachery, lots of manipulation, a dash of sex, maybe some love and perhaps a psychopathic serial killer and the scene is set.
Insurance salesman Walter Huff innocently calls at the house of Herbert Nirlinger to renew a car insurance policy. Mr. Nirlinger is not home but his wife (second wife) Phyllis is there and it doesn’t take long for the embers to glow, a few sparks to fly and the subject of life insurance to take centre stage.
JC’S THEATRE SPOTLIGHT – Double Indemnity, C100/ iheartradio.ca, June 2, 2017