Cast and Crew: Billy Wilder (Director); Raymond Chandler (Screenplay, with Billy Wilder); James M. Cain (Novel); Edith Head (Costumes); Edward G. Robinson, Porter Hall
What It’s About: When insurance Agent Walter Neff (Fred MacMurray) meets Phyllis Dietrichson (Barbara Stanwyck) on a routine sales call sparks fly. Soon Neff is helping Phyllis plan her husband’s murder.
Why Watch it Today?: Barbara Stanwyck, one of classic Hollywood’s most versatile actresses, died today in 1990. Last year we highlighted Stanwyck’s powerhouse turn as a neurotic, helpless invalid in Sorry, Wrong Number; contrast with her performance here as a powerful woman who easily manipulates a sap into doing her dirty work.