Critic’s Choice: ‘Double Indemnity’ and ‘Laura’ pack a double dose of film noir

Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray in "Double Indemnity."
Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray in 1944’s “Double Indemnity.”
(Universal Studios / AP)

Film noir is one of the most durable of American film genres, and a timely 75th-anniversary screening of two of its most noteworthy examples demonstrates exactly why.

“Double Indemnity” features a triumvirate of noir royalty (novelist James M. Cain, writer-director Billy Wilder, co-writer Raymond Chandler) in a taut tale of an insurance salesman (Fred MacMurray), a suspicious colleague (Edward G. Robinson) and the inevitable beautiful woman (Barbara Stanwyck).

“Laura,” one of Otto Preminger’s claims to fame, stars Gene Tierney as the mesmerizing title character and Dana Andrews as the police detective investigating her death, all wrapped up in David Raksin’s celebrated score. Historian Jeremy Arnold will introduce the films.

Film Noir Double Feature

“Laura,” 5:15 and 9:15 p.m., “Double Indemnity,” 7 p.m., Sept. 26, Laemmle Playhouse 7, Pasadena; “Double Indemnity,” 7:15 p.m., “Laura,” 9:30 p.m., Sept. 28, Ahrya Fine Arts in Beverly Hills. $13.