Richard Gaines as Mr. Cain based his novella on a murder perpetrated by a married Queens, New York woman and her lover whose trial he attended while working as a journalist in New York. The front page photo of Snyder's execution in the electric chair at Sing Sing has been called the most famous newsphoto of the s.
Richard Gaines as Mr. Cain based his novella on a murder perpetrated by a married Queens, New York woman and her lover whose trial he attended while working as a journalist in New York.
Then a letter went out from Joseph Breen at the Hays Officeand the studios withdrew their bids at once. In it Breen warned: The general low tone and sordid flavor of this story makes it, in our judgment, thoroughly unacceptable for screen presentation before mixed audiences in the theater.
I am sure you will agree that it is most important…to avoid what the code calls "the hardening of audiences," especially those who are young and impressionable, to the thought and fact of crime. Wilder, Paramount executive William Dozierand Sistrom decided to move forward anyway.
They submitted a film treatment crafted by Wilder and his writing partner Charles Brackett and this time the Hays Office approved the project with only a few objections: After Paramount purchased the rights to the novella for Wilder, the next step was a screenplay.
The material was widely regarded around Hollywood as unfilmable due to its iniquitous characters and the restrictions imposed by the Motion Picture Production Code. Although he had worked on the treatment, Charles Brackett decided it was too sordid and bowed out of the project, leaving Wilder to find another collaborator.
His first choice, James M. Cain himself, was already working for another studio and unavailable although Cain claimed he was never asked. Wilder would later recall with disappointment his first meeting with Chandler. Envisioning a former private detective who had worked his own experiences into gritty prose, he instead met a man he would later describe as looking like an accountant.
Chandler was new to Hollywood, but saw it as a golden opportunity. To help guide him in writing a screenplay, Wilder gave Chandler a copy of his own screenplay for the Hold Back the Dawn to study.
After the first weekend, Chandler presented eighty pages that Wilder characterized as "useless camera instruction";  Wilder quickly put it aside and informed Chandler that they would be working together, slowly and meticulously. By all accounts, the pair did not get along during their four months together.
At one point Chandler even quit, submitting a long list of grievances to Paramount as to why he could no longer work with Wilder. For one thing, the ending was overhauled. It was Chandler who first realized that the dialogue from the novella would not translate well to the screen.
Wilder disagreed and was annoyed that Chandler was not putting more of it into the script. By visiting various locations that figured into the film, he was able to bring a sense of realism about Los Angeles that seeped into the script.
Wilder, in fact, believed that discord, a tug-of-war, was a vital ingredient necessary for a fruitful collaboration: If you are going to collaborate, you need an opponent to bounce things off of.
This is notable because, other than a snippet from a home movie, there is no other footage of Chandler known anywhere.
As Wilder noted, "He was in Alcoholics Anonymous, and I think he had a tough time with me — I drove him back into drinking This relationship with Chandler is what drew Wilder to his next project, the Best Picture-winning The Lost Weekendabout an alcoholic writer.
Wilder made the film, in part, "to explain Chandler to himself.
After seeing the picture half a dozen times he was quoted as saying, " Years later Wilder would characterize their time apart as just another kind of adultery: I wrote Double Indemnity with Raymond Chandler He always thought I cheated on him with Raymond Chandler.
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