Go Into the Story, the screenwriting blog of the Blacklist, features a fascinating script-to-screen installment today on Billy Wilder’s 1944 film noir classic “Double Indemnity.” The blog looks at a key scene from the film, comparing the screenplay pages to the filmed finished product.
In the scene, Edward G. Robinson’s insurance investigator Keyes arrives unannounced at the apartment of Walter Neff (Fred MacMurray), to discuss a client who purchased life insurance suspiciously near the time of his “accidental” death. Whip-smart Keyes famously refers to “the little man” living inside his stomach, who acts up when a case smells fishy.
Watch the scene below, and check out the screenplay pages here. Wilder made a few smart directorial changes to the sequence — most notably in the final moments, when Keyes wanders down the hall to have Neff light his cigar (while Barbara Stanwyck’s Phyllis Dietrichson is hidden behind Neff’s front door).