Patrick Stewart stars as Raymond Chandler and Adrian Scarborough as Billy Wilder in BBC Radio 4's entertaining glimpse inside the Hollywood film industry. Double Jeopardy was originally broadcast as the 'Afternoon Play' on 4 February 2011. In 1944 Raymond Chandler and Billy Wilder came together to work on a screen adaptation of James M. Cain's novel Double Indemnity. Wilder is an ambitious 36-year-old German Jewish émigré just making his name as a director, and Chandler is a reformed alcoholic with a developing reputation as a novelist but absolutely no experience of writing for movies. The play follows their famously difficult collaboration.
Paramount studios put Raymond Chandler and Billy Wilder together because none of the big names would touch James M. Cain's novel. With its adulterous lovers and a crime that could be copied, it was judged too controversial to adapt because of the censorious Production Code guidelines. Chandler and Wilder famously hated each other but in a space of some four months locked in an office together they created an outstanding screenplay for a ground-breaking classic film.
With Patrick Stewart (Macbeth, Star Trek: The Next Generation) as Chandler and Adrian Scarborough (Cranford, The King's Speech) as Billy Wilder, Double Jeopardy is directed by Claire Grove.