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
Raymond Chandler was kept on a writer's retainer during the film's eight-week shooting period. This was a highly unusual occurrence for any writer at any studio at the time, signifying the high regard that Chandler was held in by Paramount and Billy Wilder. See more »
When Keyes approaches to speak to Neff as Neff enters work one morning, Neff asks Keyes if it has to do with the "Peterson" case. The name of the character in question is "Dietrichson," not "Peterson". However, this could be seen as Neff's try to show no interest to the case. See more »
Well, hello there, Mr. Neff.
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Opening credits are shown over a silhouette of a man on crutches, walking toward the camera. See more »
A film noir masterpiece that received no less than seven Oscar nominations
There were some superb thrillers coming out of Hollywood in the forties which did not rely on the private eye conventions but somehow the best of them were spread throughout by the same cynicism, the same realism, the same ruthless suspense
Best of all was Wilder's "Double Identity." It was based on a real-life assassination in New York in 1927, when a wife and her lover killed the husband for his insurance money
In the film, a near-breaking-point tension was reached and sustained in the passion of an insurance salesman and a passionately sensual femme fatale an intense desire for each other and for money; in the murder of the poor husband; and in their useless attempts to escape the ability of a fast-talking investigator
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