Down 29 this week

Double Indemnity (1944)

Passed  |   |  Crime, Drama, Film-Noir  |  24 April 1944 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.4/10 from 90,227 users  
Reviews: 309 user | 169 critic

An insurance representative lets himself be talked into a murder/insurance fraud scheme that arouses an insurance investigator's suspicions.



(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

Top Rated Movies #81 | Nominated for 7 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Leonard Vole is arrested on suspicion of murdering an elderly acquaintance. He employs an experienced but aging barrister as his defense attorney.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: Tyrone Power, Marlene Dietrich, Charles Laughton
Sunset Blvd. (1950)
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

A hack screenwriter writes a screenplay for a former silent-film star who has faded into Hollywood obscurity.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: William Holden, Gloria Swanson, Erich von Stroheim
The Apartment (1960)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A man tries to rise in his company by letting its executives use his apartment for trysts, but complications and a romance of his own ensue.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, Fred MacMurray
All About Eve (1950)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

An ingenue insinuates herself in to the company of an established but aging stage actress and her circle of theater friends.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Stars: Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, George Sanders
M (1931)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

When the police in a German city are unable to catch a child-murderer, other criminals join in the manhunt.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Peter Lorre, Ellen Widmann, Inge Landgut
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Fred Dobbs and Bob Curtin, two Americans searching for work in Mexico, convince an old prospector to help them mine for gold in the Sierra Madre Mountains.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Walter Huston, Tim Holt
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A private detective takes on a case that involves him with three eccentric criminals, a gorgeous liar, and their quest for a priceless statuette.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Gladys George
The Third Man (1949)
Film-Noir | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Pulp novelist Holly Martins travels to shadowy, postwar Vienna, only to find himself investigating the mysterious death of an old friend, Harry Lime.

Director: Carol Reed
Stars: Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Alida Valli
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

When two musicians witness a mob hit, they flee the state in an all female band disguised as women, but further complications set in.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon
Adventure | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A hapless New York advertising executive is mistaken for a government agent by a group of foreign spies, and is pursued across the country while he looks for a way to survive.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A silent film production company and cast make a difficult transition to sound.

Directors: Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly
Stars: Gene Kelly, Donald O'Connor, Debbie Reynolds
Vertigo (1958)
Mystery | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A retired San Francisco detective suffering from acrophobia investigates the strange activities of an old friend's wife, all the while becoming dangerously obsessed with her.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: James Stewart, Kim Novak, Barbara Bel Geddes


Complete credited cast:
Porter Hall ...
Jean Heather ...
Tom Powers ...
Richard Gaines ...
Fortunio Bonanova ...
John Philliber ...


In 1938, Walter Neff, an experienced salesman of the Pacific All Risk Insurance Co., meets the seductive wife of one of his clients, Phyllis Dietrichson, and they have an affair. Phyllis proposes to kill her husband to receive the proceeds of an accident insurance policy and Walter devises a scheme to receive twice the amount based on a double indemnity clause. When Mr. Dietrichson is found dead on a train-track, the police accept the determination of accidental death. However, the insurance analyst and Walter's best friend Barton Keyes does not buy the story and suspects that Phyllis has murdered her husband with the help of another man. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


It's Love And Murder At First Sight ! See more »


Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

24 April 1944 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Frau ohne Gewissen  »

Box Office


$927,262 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (Ontario)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Raymond Chandler hated the experience of writing the script with Billy Wilder so much that he actually walked out and would not return unless a list of demands was met. The studio acceded to his demands and he returned to finish the script with Wilder, even though the two detested each other. See more »


Walter Neff is unmarried, yet he wears a wedding ring throughout the movie. See more »


[first lines]
Building attendant: Well, hello there, Mr. Neff.
See more »


Referenced in Manhattan Murder Mystery (1993) See more »


(1941) (uncredited)
Music by Victor Schertzinger
Played on a radio
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

One of the best films noir ever, Double Indemnity communicates with amazing effectiveness the depths of depravity, greed, lust, and betrayal of the seemingly innocent and beautiful.
8 November 2000 | by (Luoyang, China) – See all my reviews

This is one of the best films of all time, not necessarily because of its story but because of the acting, direction, cinematography, lighting, and just the way that the story itself was told. At the time the film was released, the idea of revealing who the killer was in the opening scene was virtually unheard of, but it ended up being very effective because it allowed the audience to concentrate more on other elements of the film, which was the goal of Billy Wilder, the director. Instead of trying to figure out who the perpetrator was, there is more emphasis on how the crime was pulled off, what mistakes were made during the murder, who betrayed who, how close Barton Keyes (the insurance investigator) was getting to solving the case, and, probably most importantly, what kind of person Walter Neff is and whether or not sympathy should be felt toward him.

Barbara Stanwyck, in one of the most remembered performances of her extensive career, represents (with nearly flawless ease) the cold and ruthless manipulator who has no difficulty in ruining other people's lives in various ways (including death, if necessary) in order to get what she wants. Known in the film community as the `femme fatale,' this is someone who uses her sexual prowess, seductiveness, and emotional detachment to drag an unsuspecting person (generally an interested man) into a scheme from which she is expected to benefit heavily and he is most likely headed for destruction. In these types of films, the man often either finds his life in ruins or ends up dead, as is often (but not always) also the case with the fate of the femme fatale.

Barbara Stanwyck (as Phyllis Dietrichson, the murderous femme fatale in Double Indemnity) and Fred MacMurray (as Walter Neff, her ‘victim'), have amazing chemistry on screen. Their attraction is incredibly well portrayed, and the development of their relationship with each other is so convincing that what happens between them almost seems normal. Besides that, their mutually calculated interaction, although it seems at first like it has been rehearsed endlessly and ultimately brought unconvincingly to the screen, is exactly as it was meant to be, because it represents each character's intentions, even very subtly foreshadowing their future betrayals against each other. Phyllis has gone through every word she ever says to Walter in her head. She has practiced what she wants to say when she brings up the idea of life insurance to Walter in the beginning and she knows what she wants to say whenever they interact with each other because she has been planning for quite some time the prospect of murdering her husband in order to collect his fortune. Walter, conversely, methodically makes amorous advances as though this is something that he does regularly, and then ultimately he also plans out his conversations with Phyllis because he begins to suspect her and is sure to tell her only what he wants her to hear. This seemingly stiff dialogue brilliantly represents Phyllis and Walter's precise (and sinister) intentions, and it's quick pace creates a feeling of urgency and restlessness.

Probably the most fascinating and entertaining actor in the film, Edward G. Robinson, plays Barton Keyes, Walter's friend and employer at the insurance company where he works. Keyes is a very suspicious man who closely investigates the insurance claims which come into the company, having a striking history of accurately isolating fraudulent claims and throwing them out. His handling of Phyllis's (and Walter's, technically) claim and the way that he gets closer and closer to the truth create a great atmosphere of tension and drama.

Double Indemnity is nearly flawless. From the shocking and unexpected beginning to the already known but still surprising end, the audience is held rapt by the excellent performances, the brilliant and imaginative direction, and the flawlessly created atmosphere. This is excellent, excellent filmmaking, and is a classic film that should not be missed.

205 of 247 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Shouldn't Keyes have suspected Walter instantly? sn939
Best line in the movie Sneakypanda29
Why did the police not suspect foul play? anthony-634-967830
You need a cup of my Java MrDeltoid77
PHILADELPHIA STORY. 2m-pharma-plus
Film Ownership- Universal/Paramount alex-784-83365
Discuss Double Indemnity (1944) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page