“Every turn and twist is exactly calculated and achieves its effect with the simplest of means. This smooth, tawdry thriller is one of the high points of 40s films.” – Pauline Kael
“It is the only picture made from one of my books that had things in it I wish I had thought of.” – Author James M. Cain
Billy Wilder’s adaptation of James M. Cain’s slim novel of sex, murder, and the art of the insurance investigation provided a template for many subsequent noir films. Barbara Stanwyck as the rapacious and determined suburban wife, Fred MacMurray as the tough-talking but weak-willed insurance agent, and Edward G. Robinson as the patron saint of pencil pushers deliver an unbeatable triumvirate of canonical performances.