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
The film was nominated for 7 Academy Awards but lost out on the night to Going My Way (1944). Billy Wilder was seriously annoyed at Leo McCarey's sweep that when McCarey's name was called for Best Director, Wilder stuck his foot out into the aisle, tripping McCarey up. (Wilder would get his revenge the following year when The Lost Weekend (1945) won 4 Oscars, while McCarey's The Bells of St. Mary's (1945) only picked up 1.) See more »
When Phyllis prepares to meet Neff for the last time, the effect of "moonlight" through the blinds appears in the room just before she turns out the lamps. See more »
Well, hello there, Mr. Neff.
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If you are a noir fan then this film is an absolute must see. The screenplay itself is a work of art in its charater construction, plot structure and dialogue which is delievered by an ensemble of first class actors divying up first class performances. Barbra Stanwyck as the deadly, smouldering, scheming Phyllis Dietrichson turns in a performance that is right up there with Mary Astor's Brigid O'Shaughnessy. Fred McMurray delievers a performance of a smart but desperately lovelorn patsy and Edward G. Robinson is perfect in the role of Barton Keyes and just about steals the moment every time he appears on screen.
I personally love a good Noir film and this is right up there with the best of them. Billy Wilder should be proud of this work eventhough the Academy didn't see it fit to reward him for his efforts, however I personally think this film is an absolute winner.
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