MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Up 84 this week

Double Indemnity (1944)

Passed  -  Crime | Drama | Film-Noir  -  24 April 1944 (USA)
8.4
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.4/10 from 74,447 users  
Reviews: 272 user | 139 critic

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

Director:

Writers:

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

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 49 titles
created 01 Apr 2011
 
a list of 45 titles
created 10 Sep 2011
 
a list of 21 titles
created 21 Mar 2012
 
a list of 37 titles
created 11 months ago
 
a list of 28 titles
created 10 months ago
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Double Indemnity (1944)

Double Indemnity (1944) on IMDb 8.4/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Double Indemnity.

User Polls

Top 250 #73 | Nominated for 7 Oscars. Another 3 wins. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Touch of Evil (1958)
Crime | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A stark, perverse story of murder, kidnapping, and police corruption in a Mexican border town.

Director: Orson Welles
Stars: Charlton Heston, Orson Welles, Janet Leigh
The Big Sleep (1946)
Crime | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Private detective Philip Marlowe is hired by a rich family. Before the complex case is over, he's seen murder, blackmail, and what might be love.

Director: Howard Hawks
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, John Ridgely
Crime | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A psychotic socialite confronts a pro tennis star with a theory on how two complete strangers can get away with murder...a theory that he plans to implement.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Farley Granger, Robert Walker, Ruth Roman
The Killing (1956)
Crime | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Crooks plan and execute a daring race-track robbery.

Director: Stanley Kubrick
Stars: Sterling Hayden, Coleen Gray, Vince Edwards
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

When hired killer Philip Raven shoots a blackmailer and his beautiful female companion dead, he's is paid off in marked bills by his treasonous employer who is working with foreign spies.

Director: Frank Tuttle
Stars: Alan Ladd, Veronica Lake, Robert Preston
I Confess (1953)
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Refusing to give into police investigators' questions of suspicion, due to the seal of confession, a priest becomes the prime suspect in a murder.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Montgomery Clift, Anne Baxter, Karl Malden
Key Largo (1948)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A man visits his old friend's hotel and finds a gangster running things. As a hurricane approaches, the two end up confronting each other.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Edward G. Robinson, Lauren Bacall
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A young woman discovers her visiting "Uncle Charlie" may not be the man he seems to be.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Teresa Wright, Joseph Cotten, Macdonald Carey
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

When a conservative middle-aged professor engages in a minor dalliance with a femme fatale, he is plunged into a nightmarish quicksand of blackmail and murder.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Joan Bennett, Raymond Massey
Crime | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A doctor and a policeman in New Orleans have only 48 hours to locate a killer infected with pneumonic plague.

Director: Elia Kazan
Stars: Richard Widmark, Paul Douglas, Barbara Bel Geddes
Kiss of Death (1947)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

With his law-breaking lifestyle in the past, an ex-con, along with his family, attempt to start a new life, knowing a betrayed someone from the past is bound to see otherwise.

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: Victor Mature, Brian Donlevy, Coleen Gray
Criss Cross (1949)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

An armored truck driver and his lovely ex-wife conspire with a gang to have his own truck robbed on the route.

Director: Robert Siodmak
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Yvonne De Carlo, Dan Duryea
Edit

Cast

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

Storyline

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

Taglines:

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


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

24 April 1944 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Frau ohne Gewissen  »

Box Office

Budget:

$927,262 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Ontario)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

As well as George Raft, Brian Donlevy and Alan Ladd, other actors to pass on playing Walter Neff included James Cagney, Spencer Tracy, Gregory Peck and Fredric March. See more »

Goofs

The door to Neff's apartment opens away from, rather than toward, the apartment. This was a violation of the Los Angeles Fire Code. (Billy Wilder knew this, but could not change the door because of the crucial scene where Phyllis is hiding behind the door in the hallway.) See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Referenced in The Big Lebowski (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Some times, when they least expect it.....
17 July 2005 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

There are occasional times when all the elements come together to make a great film that will stand the passing of time. "Double Indemnity" seems to be an example of this phenomenon.

First, there was a great novel by one of America's best mystery writers, James Cain, who created these characters that seem will live forever in our imagination. Then, the lucky break in getting the right man to direct it, Billy Wilder, a man who knew about how to make a classic out of the material that he adapted with great care and elegance with Raymond Chandler, a man who knew about the genre.

"Double Indemnity" works because it's a story we can relate to. There is a greedy woman trapped in a bad marriage, who sees the opportunity when she encounters an insurance agent who is instantly smitten with her and who has only sex in his mind. The manipulator, Phyllis Dietrichson, doesn't need much to see how Walter desires her. His idea of having her husband sign an insurance policy he knows nothing about, thinking he is doing something else, will prove a fatal flaw in judgment.

Mr. Wilder achieves in this film what others try, with disastrous results. The director, who was working under the old Hays Code, shows so much sex in the film with fully clothed actors, yet one feels the heat exuding from the passion Walter Neff feels for Phyllis. He is a man that will throw everything away because he is blinded by the promise of what his life will be once the husband is out of the picture.

In life, as well as in fiction, there are small and insignificant things that will derail the best laid plans. First, there i Jackson, the man who shouldn't have been smoking at the rear of the train, contemplating the passing landscape. Then, no one counts in the ability of Barton Keys, the man in the agency who has seen it all! Walter and Phyllis didn't take that into consideration and it will backfire on their plan.

We try to make a point to take a look at "Double Indemnity" when it shows on cable from time to time. Barbara Stanwyck makes a magnificent Phyllis. There are no false movements in her performance. Phyllis gets under Walter's skin because she knows where her priorities lie and makes good use of them in order to render Walter helpless under her spell.

Fred McMurray makes a perfect Walter. He is consumed by his passion and he will do anything because of what he perceives will be the reward for doing the crime. Walter Neff was perhaps Mr. McMurray's best creation. He is completely believable and vulnerable.

Edgar G. Robinson, as Barton Keys, makes one of his best performances for the screen. Keys is a man that has seen all the schemes pass by his desk. He is, in a way, Walter's worst nightmare, because working next to Keys, he gets to know how wrong he was in the planning of the crime.

The supporting cast is excellent. Porter Hall, Jean Heather, Tom Powers, Richard Gaines, Fortunio Buonanova and John Philliber are perfect.

The music score of Miklos Rosza gives the film a texture and a dimension that capitalizes on the action it intends to enhance. Also the music of Cesar Franck and Franz Schubert contribute to the atmosphere of the movie. The great cinematography of John Seitz, who will go on to direct films, is another asset in the movie. Edith Head's costumes are absolutely what a woman like Phyllis would wear right down to her ankle bracelet.

This film shows a great man at his best: Billy Wilder!


31 of 40 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
'Outside your office was the last guy in the world I wanted to see' jayrussell1993
Funny misspelling in store: 'Cand' thecrux-1
Who lives in an apartment where the front door opens outwards? peterduray-bito
A funny 'racist' remark rfm-1
One thing that throws me about MacMurray's performance rayannina
Robinson was terrific! DACREEPER
Discuss Double Indemnity (1944) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page