Double Indemnity (1944).
Barbara Stanwyck is one of my very favorite actresses. I've loved her work in comedy, melodrama, and romance. She's brilliant in this film noir as the manipulative Phyllis Dietrichson.
I got to watch it today at my library with a new film club that's just started in the area. I've seen it before, but didn't remember it in full detail. It's even better than I remembered.
The movie is beautifully executed and may even have benefitted from some of the limits the Hays Code put on the production. We never see Phyllis and Walter make love, but it's still entirely clear that there's a physical charge between them and that she's not above using all the methods of persuasion at her disposal. We don't the murder, but watched Phyllis's face while it happens next to her gave me the chills. That little smile, so much like Anthony Perkins's in Psycho for cold delight.
The unfolding of the levels of manipulation and the way Phyllis and Walter fed into each other and fed the flames that eventually consumed them was gorgeous. It's definitely keeping its position in "must see movies" on my personal list.