By Chris Willman
Updated August 25, 2006 at 04:00 AM EDT

Raymond Chandler and director Billy Wilder turn James M. Cain’s novella Double Indemnity‘s venal insurance salesman (Fred MacMurray) into a sardonic Philip Marlowe gone wrong; Barbara Stanwyck cracks wise too, while dripping pheromones. EXTRAS Chats about noir, pulp, and Stanwyck’s cheap blond wig. ”Wilder always thought [the wig] was one of the biggest mistakes of his career,” says Lem Dobbs in one commentary. ”I think it’s perfect,” says Richard Schickel in another. Perversely fascinating: A ’73 TV remake, with a near-identical script, is claw-your-eyes-out awful.