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    James M. Cain. Double Indemnity. Los Angeles: H. N. Swanson, [1943]. First separate edition. Octavo (7.5 x 5.125 inches; 193 x 130 mm.). [2], 217-327, [1, blank] pages. Publisher's side-stapled binding in the original light blue paper wrappers, printed in black; all edges of the text block trimmed. A bit of wear and toning to edges of wrappers; some soft creasing at staples. One half-inch tear at rear wrapper at the top staple. Top edge of text block slightly yellowed. Near fine. Housed in custom black cloth chemise and slipcase with green morocco spine labels, lettered in gilt. Rare, one of a possible eight copies (the number of studios Swanson sent copies to, according to Cain, quoted in Gene Phillips, Some Like It Wilder (Lexington: 2010), p. 54); no auction records and just two copies found in WorldCat. According to The Morgan Library, record ID 110398, "Promotional copy created for distribution to Hollywood film studios in 1943 by the author's literary agent H. N. Swanson; the printed text evidently a portion of bound page proofs extracted from Cain's Three of a Kind (New York : Knopf, 1943)." Wilder bought the rights for $15,000, against no other bids (Phillips, p. 54), and turned the text into on a classic of the film noir movement. The film starred Barbara Stanwyck, Fred MacMurray and Edward G. Robinson; Raymond Chandler co-wrote the screenplay. Dark Page 44 (in Three of a Kind). From the Otto Penzler Collection of Mystery Fiction.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    March, 2019
    6th Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 7
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 594

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