Audio Drama Wiki

Double Indemnity is a radio dramatization by John Fletcher, based on the novel by James M. Cain. It was first broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on 12 June 1993, as an installment of the Radio Noir series of Saturday Night Theatre[1][2].

A recording is available at the British Library Sound Archive:


Based on the classic noir novel Double Indemnity.


  • Frederic Forrest
  • Molly Ringwald
  • Teresa Russell
  • John Wood
  • Michael Drew
  • John Goraczio
  • John Baddeley
  • Geraldine Fitzgerald
  • Roger May

Technical presentation by Graham Hoyland, Dave Parkinson, Andrew Lawrence, Fiona Baker, Christine Hall, and Mark Decker. Directed at Christchurch Studios in Bristol by Andy Jordan.

Critical Reception[]

“Double Indemnity was a treat. As the snake-like Phyllis, Theresa Russell even managed to overcome memories of Barbara Stanwyck’s horrifying performance...” (David Sexton, Sunday Telegraph)[3]

For me Double Indemnity is the best of Film Noir. It takes the filmic art form to the highest of the black and white heights. It faithfully captures James M. Cain’s novella like no other film has done with any novel.

When I read about this BBC radio dramatization of Double Indemnity I kept my expectations low – that probably helped me enjoy it all the more – but I can’t imagine any fan of either the novel or the film being disappointed by this rare gem. It is more than terrific! Theresa Russell as Phyllis Deitrichson is superior to Barbara Stanwyck‘s iconic role. Her performance has me wanting to watch Black Widow again.