Friday, 4 February 2011

Double Jeopardy

BBC Radio drama by Stephen Wyatt

Patrick Stewart stars as Raymond Chandler and Adrian Scarborough is Billy Wilder in this entertaining glimpse inside the Hollywood film industry. In 1944 the two men came together to work on a screen adaptation of James M Cain's novel Double Indemnity. Billy Wilder is a 36 year old German Jewish émigré just making his name as a director and Raymond 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.

Directed by Claire Grove

An entertaining glimpse inside the Hollywood film industry introduces the Classic Chandler season. Billy Wilder and Raymond Chandler are legendary. The English-educated, middle-aged , would-be intellectual versus the ambitious young German émigré. 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 .

Patrick Stewart most recent work includes filming Macbeth for BBC 4. He worked at Paramount Studios, where Double Jeopardy is set, for seven years filming Star Trek.

Adrian Scarborough is probably best known for BBC TV's Cranford. Recent work includes feature film The Kings Speech.

Stephen Wyatt's Memorials for the Missing won a Sony Award in 2008. Recent work for R4 includes dramatising The Lady in the Lake and Playback for the Classic Chandler Season. He also dramatised three of the Complete Ripley series including The Talented Mr Ripley, Tom Jones for Classic Serial and The Yellow Plush Papers for 11.30am.

Listen to it now at:
Available until 11 February

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