When Billy Wilder Met Raymond Chandler

Loren Kantor
Picture Palace
Published in
5 min readMay 15, 2024

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Raymond Chandler (left) and Billy Wilder (1944).

In 1943, writer/director Billy Wilder wanted to make a gritty film noir. He was under contract to Paramount Pictures and he told studio brass that his dream project was James M. Cain’s novel The Postman Always Rings Twice. A studio bidding war ensued and Paramount lost out on the story rights to MGM. Undaunted, Wilder shifted his attention to another story by Cain. It was called Double Indemnity and was included in a…

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Loren Kantor
Picture Palace

Loren is a writer and woodcut artist based in Los Angeles. He teaches printmaking and creative writing to kids and adults.