"I make no conscious effort to be tough, or hard-boiled, or grim, or any of the things I am usually called. I merely try to write as the character would write, and I never forget that the average man, from the fields, the streets, the bars, the offices and even the gutters of his country, has acquired a vividness of speech that goes beyond anything I could invent, and that if I stick to this heritage, this logos of the American countryside, I shall attain a maximum of effectiveness with very little effort."
- (from the Preface to Double Indemnity)
Selected films adapted from Cain's novels.
- Ossessione, Italy, 1943, directed by Luchino Visconti (novel The Postman Always Rings Twice, uncredited)
- Double Indemnity, USA, 1944, directed by Billy Wilder (story The Baby in the Icebox)
- Mildred Pierce, USA, 1945, directed by Michael Curtiz
- The Postman Always Rings Twice, USA, 1946, directed by Tay Garnett
- Slightly Scarlet, USA, 1956, directed by Allan Dwan (novel Love's Lovely Counterfeit)
- Serenade, USA, 1956, directed by Anthony Mann
- Butterfly, USA, 1982, directed by Matt Cimber
- Girl in the Cadillac, USA, 1995, directed by Lucas Platt (novel The Enchanted Isle)
- The Postman Always Rings Twice, USA, 1981, directed by Bob Rafelson