Still from Double Indemnity

Archive Talks: Double Indemnity

  • This is a past program

Presented by the UCLA Film & Television Archive. Learn more at

In-person: Alain Silver and James Ursini, authors of From the Moment They Met It Was Murder: Double Indemnity and the Rise of Film Noir

When Billy Wilder went looking for a property that would "set Hollywood back on its heels," he selected James M. Cain's hardboiled novel about a corrupt insurance salesman who conspires with a scheming housewife to murder her husband for his insurance. Adapting with hard-boiled writer Raymond Chandler, did more than shock audiences with this sordid true crime tale of lust and greed. He and Chandler, along with their iconic cast — Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward G. Robinson — launched one of the most influential and enduring styles in film history: film noir. No one has celebrated and documented film noir’s particulars and its influence than historians Alain Silver and James Ursini. Their latest book, From the Moment They Met It Was Murder: Double Indemnity and the Rise of Film Noir, dives deep into the intersecting histories — criminal, literary, cinematic — on the occasion of the film’s 80th anniversary. The Archive is honored to host Silver and Ursini for this special screening.

35mm, b&w, 107 min. Director: Billy Wilder. Screenplay: Raymond Chandler, Billy Wilder.


Ticketing: Admission to Archive screenings at the Hammer is free. Your seat will be assigned to you when you pick up your ticket at the box office. Seats are assigned on a first come, first served basis. Box office opens one hour before the event. Questions should be directed to the Archive at or 310-206-8013.

Member Benefit: Subject to availability, Hammer Members can choose their preferred seats. Members receive priority ticketing until 15 minutes before the program. Learn more about membership.

Parking: Valet parking is available on Lindbrook Drive for $15 cash only. Self-parking is available under the museum. Rates are $8 for the first three hours with museum validation, and $3 for each additional 20 minutes, with a $22 daily maximum. There is an $8 flat rate after 5 p.m. on weekdays, and all day on weekends.

Read our food, bag check, and photo policies.
Read our COVID-19 safety guidelines.

♿ Accessibility information