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Double Indemnity (1944)

Passed  |   |  Crime, Drama, Film-Noir  |  24 April 1944 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.4/10 from 90,299 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 »
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Top Rated Movies #81 | Nominated for 7 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »



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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


You Can't Kiss Away A Murder! See more »


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Release Date:

24 April 1944 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Frau ohne Gewissen  »

Box Office


$927,262 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


| (Ontario)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Billy Wilder had a tough time getting a leading man for this film; many actors, including George Raft turned the project down. He had to persuade Fred MacMurray to accept the part. See more »


In the first scene in which Walter first kisses Phyllis, we see a wedding ring on Walter's hand. Fred MacMurray was married and the ring was not noticed until post-production. See more »


[first lines]
Building attendant: Well, hello there, Mr. Neff.
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Featured in Arena: Screen Goddesses (2012) See more »


Symphony No 8 in B minor, Unfinished
(1822) (uncredited)
Written by Franz Schubert
First movement (Allegro Moderato) played at the Hollywood Bowl
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Justifiably At The Top Of Most Film Noir Lists
23 December 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is one of the best-liked classic films of all time and I am among that large group of fans as well.

Few movies have ever had dialog this entertaining.....at least the conversations between Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray. I think it's a big appeal to this movie, except to younger folks who look at it as "cheesy."

I read the book, Double Indemnity written by James Cain, and was surprised that the film's snappy dialog was not in it. This is one of the rare times when the movie was far better than the book. That's not a shock after you find out that literary giant Raymond Chandler and Hall Of Fame director Billy Wilder combined to write the screenplay,

For a murder/suspense story, there is very little action, almost none, yet there are no boring lulls. The three main actors - Stanwyck, MacMurray and Edward G. Robinson, are what make this so good.

MacMurray's narration is fun to hear as he tells the story in flashback, from the beginning by dictating into an old Dictaphone to his co-worker Robinson. The latter is almost mesmerizing in his performance, the way he delivers his lines. He can even make a speech about something as boring as insurance and still keep you riveted to the screen.

Stanwyck was no sex symbol (at least to me) but she looked great here in the most seductive of 1940s clothing and, like Robinson, has a distinctive voice and accent that keeps your attention.

This film was the inspiration for the 1980 movie, "Body Heat," starring William Hurt and Kathleen Turner. That, too, was a very, very good movie....but not many films are in the class of this one.

109 of 137 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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