Common Sense Note
Parents need to know that this is a grim, downbeat "film noir" narrative. Evil doesn't triumph, but the main character makes bad choices and is pretty much doomed from the inception. He falls for another man's wife and tries to help her kill her husband (the woman also turns out to embody the worst sort of wicked-stepmother image, late in the story). There is nothing explicitly sensual in this narrative, even as much later "steamy erotic thrillers" copied the vibe and used it as an excuse for graphic sex and nudity. This one would merit just a PG today.
Phyllis seen briefly, clad demurely in a towel. Otherwise her seductive affair with Walter Neff is all talk, mood, and innuendo.
One man murders another with his bare hands, offscreen. Two people are shot at close range.
The antihero is a once-honest man turned murderer, whose whole confession frames the movie. Even though he faces the consequences for his actions, he seems almost fatalistic, not apologetic, about his actions. But in the end he does prevent another murder. Phyllis is quite the "wicked stepmother" type, in addition to her other faults.
The tie-in novel by James M. Cain.
Drugs / Tobacco /
Quite a bit of smoking, cigarettes, and cigars.