Billy Wilder & Raymond Chandler
This is Chandler’s own copy of the September 25, 1943 draft, with his signature on the front pastedown endpaper of the springback binder covering the script. The text on the final leaf describes Barton Keyes (played by Edward G. Robinson) witnessing the execution of his colleague, Walter Neff (played by Fred MacMurray) for murder. The ending was deemed too hardcore for the moviegoing public. Instead, the director (Billy Wilder) had Neff confess as he dies in Keyes’ arms after being shot by femme fatale Barbara Stanwyck, thus sidestepping the necessity of sending the flawed protagonist to the gas chamber.
From the collection of Robert M. Rubin