Billy Wilder’s 1944 hit Double Indemnity, is a near perfect example of the Film Noir genre.
The film opens on a wounded Walter Neff (Fred MacMurray) careening down the streets of Los Angeles in his black 1938 Dodge – narrowly avoiding a collision with a truck. None of this matters, however, for he is about to leave a tell-all confession for his boss, Barton Keyes (Edward G. Robinson) to discover the next morning. The rest of the film comes as a narrated flashback while Neff lays bare his confession via dictaphone.
He calmly begins his lurid tale with an interaction between himself and Keyes. Working as an insurance salesman, Neff enters Keyes office (a claims adjuster) to an interrogation. Keyes is telling a man whose truck has recently burned-out that his claim will not be paid due to “a gut feeling from the little man in his stomach”. He had found evidence of insurance fraud in the form of kindling left underneath the truck. Keyes’s keen intuition and relentless attention to detail endear him to Neff, but also prove to be an unavoidable obstacle.