No. 57: Double Indemnity
1944, dir. Billy Wilder. Leave it to Billy Wilder, himself a transplant, to turn a James M. Cain novel about a murder in Queens into one of the three all-time great Los Angeles movies—the others, for the record, are Chinatown and Pulp Fiction—and suffuse it with existential dread and postmodern structure, all while inventing the rules of film noir as he went along. As a bonus, Edward G. Robinson (the “G” stood for his real last name, Goldenberg) plays, for once, a good guy.