Unless you're a timeaddict or have let Henry Luce spoil your fun with his picture mag, you'll find Paramount's MacMurray-Stanwyck-Edward G. Robinson thriller good and exciting entertainment, although you may be able to knock a few dents in the plot. James M. Cain writes tough, sharp prose, and judging from "Double Indemnity," his stuff makes even better moviegoing than reading.
Paramount didn't borrow Warner's Bogart for a part that Bogart might have filled and they have done better with MacMurray who isn't quite so stony. Bogart makes a good detective, a good thug, and a good martyr, but the boy with the light comedy past comes through with the best performance of his career.
He depicts a good guy (an insurance salesman, prosaically enough), gone wrong.
What makes him go wrong is a little (you know the word) played by Barbara Stanwyck, who would have been just as adequate had she stayed brunette. She's plenty adequate now, though.
As the insurance-claims investigator, Robinson plays his usual stock role and steals several scenes from MacMurray. Walter Noff (MacMurray) isn't as smart as his chief, however, and Robinson scraps his perfect crime to save the insurance company $100,000. But there isn't a trite "crime doesn't pay" line anywhere.