IMDb > Double Indemnity (1944)
Double Indemnity
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Double Indemnity (1944) More at IMDbPro »

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

Overview

User Rating:
8.4/10   75,934 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Billy Wilder (screenplay) and
Raymond Chandler (screenplay) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Double Indemnity on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
24 April 1944 (USA) See more »
Tagline:
It's Love And Murder At First Sight ! See more »
Plot:
An insurance rep lets himself be talked into a murder/insurance fraud scheme that arouses an insurance investigator's suspicions. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Awards:
Nominated for 7 Oscars. Another 4 wins See more »
NewsDesk:
(248 articles)
See Reddit users’ favorite movie from each year
 (From SoundOnSight. 2 September 2014, 12:56 PM, PDT)

Game of Links
 (From FilmExperience. 30 August 2014, 6:30 AM, PDT)

'Mad Men' star Vincent Kartheiser to play Billy Wilder on stage
 (From EW.com - PopWatch. 26 August 2014, 2:40 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Ultimate film-noir See more (273 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Fred MacMurray ... Walter Neff

Barbara Stanwyck ... Phyllis Dietrichson

Edward G. Robinson ... Barton Keyes
Porter Hall ... Mr. Jackson
Jean Heather ... Lola Dietrichson
Tom Powers ... Mr. Dietrichson

Byron Barr ... Nino Zachetti
Richard Gaines ... Edward S. Norton, Jr.
Fortunio Bonanova ... Sam Garlopis
John Philliber ... Joe Peters
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
James Adamson ... Pullman Porter (uncredited)
John Berry ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Raymond Chandler ... Man Reading Book (uncredited)
Edmund Cobb ... Train Conductor (uncredited)
Kernan Cripps ... Conductor (uncredited)
Betty Farrington ... Nettie - Dietrichsons' Maid (uncredited)
Bess Flowers ... Norton's Secretary (uncredited)
Miriam Franklin ... Keyes' Secretary (uncredited)
Harold Garrison ... Redcap (uncredited)

Eddie Hall ... Man in Drug Store (uncredited)
Teala Loring ... Pacific All-Risk Telephone Operator (uncredited)
George Magrill ... Man (uncredited)
Sam McDaniel ... Charlie - Garage Attendant (uncredited)
Billy Mitchell ... Pullman Porter (uncredited)

Clarence Muse ... Man (uncredited)
Constance Purdy ... Fat Shopper in Market (uncredited)
Dick Rush ... Pullman Conductor (uncredited)
Floyd Shackelford ... Pullman Porter (uncredited)
Oscar Smith ... Pullman Porter (uncredited)
Douglas Spencer ... Lou Schwartz (uncredited)

Directed by
Billy Wilder 
 
Writing credits
Billy Wilder (screenplay) and
Raymond Chandler (screenplay)

James M. Cain (from the novel by)

Produced by
Buddy G. DeSylva .... executive producer (uncredited)
Joseph Sistrom .... producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Miklós Rózsa  (as Miklos Rozsa)
 
Cinematography by
John F. Seitz (director of photography) (as John Seitz)
 
Casting by
Harvey Clermont (uncredited)
 
Art Direction by
Hans Dreier 
Hal Pereira 
 
Set Decoration by
Bertram C. Granger  (as Bertram Granger)
 
Costume Design by
Edith Head (costumes by)
 
Makeup Department
Wally Westmore .... makeup artist
Hollis Barnes .... hair stylist (uncredited)
Robert Ewing .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Charles Gemora .... makeup artist (uncredited)
 
Production Management
Al Trosin .... assistant production manager (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Charles C. Coleman .... assistant director (uncredited)
Bill Sheehan .... second assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Jack Colconda .... props (uncredited)
Jim Cottrell .... props (uncredited)
Paul Tranz .... engineer (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Stanley Cooley .... sound recordist
Walter Oberst .... sound recordist
Jack Duffy .... cableman (uncredited)
H.O. Kinsey .... recordist (uncredited)
Loren L. Ryder .... sound recordist (uncredited)
 
Visual Effects by
Farciot Edouart .... process photography
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Ed Henderson .... still photographer (uncredited)
Walter McLeod .... key grip (uncredited)
Otto Pierce .... camera operator (uncredited)
Bill Pillar .... mike grip (uncredited)
Chet Stafford .... electrician (uncredited)
Harlow Stengel .... camera operator (uncredited)
Paul Tranz .... dolly grip (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Neva Bourne .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Eugene Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
Bill Rabb .... wardrobe (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Doane Harrison .... editorial supervisor
Lee Hall .... assistant editor (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Eugene Zador .... orchestrator (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Jack Gage .... dialogue director (uncredited)
Nancy Lee .... script clerk (uncredited)
Dorothy Staton .... stand-in: Ms. Stanwyck (uncredited)
John R. Woolfenden .... publicist (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
107 min | Argentina:110 min | Canada:90 min (Ontario)
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)
Certification:
Argentina:16 | Australia:PG | Finland:K-16 | Germany:16 | Netherlands:18 (re-rating) (1955) | Netherlands:18 (original rating) (1947) | Norway:16 | Portugal:M/12 | South Korea:15 | Sweden:15 | UK:PG | USA:Passed (National Board of Review) | USA:Approved (PCA #9717)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
It was quite ironic that Raymond Chandler should agree to work on an adaptation of a James M. Cain novel as he felt that Cain's work was gutter trash.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: Early in the film, as Phyllis finds Walter's address in the phone book and goes to his apartment, Neff turns on a three-way lamp by the door using a switch on the wall. Later in the film, the lamp is gone.See more »
Quotes:
[first lines]
Building attendant:Well, hello there, Mr. Neff.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in The Best of Film Noir (1999) (V)See more »
Soundtrack:
My IdealSee more »

FAQ

Is there an alternate ending?
Crutches Neff used in train sequence
How does the movie end?
See more »
73 out of 111 people found the following review useful.
Ultimate film-noir, 12 June 2003
Author: Ilya Mauter

Double Indemnity is based on a novel by James Cain adapted to the screen by great novelist Raymond Chandler, who made here his most important contribution to the cinema history in his career, though somehow matched by following screenwriting work for 1946 Howard Hawks' classic The Big Sleep, and Billy Wilder, who previously worked as a screen writer for Ernest Lubitsch and had been already nominated three times for Academy Awards in the process before making Double Indemnity, which nevertheless played the key role in establishing him as one of the best writer-directors in Hollywood, and giving him his fourth Oscar nomination as a writer and his first one as a director.

Double Indemnity was the third feature Wilder directed after 1942 The Major and the Minor and 1943 Five Graves to Cairo, but it was definitely the first film, his primary American tragedy where the author for the first time revealed his black and somehow hopelessly pessimistic view of the American society and of the human society in general, blackishly desecrated in the film simply by populating it with exceptionally sordid characters, who independently of being a victim or victimized, of being the protagonists or just simple supporters are never really able to transcend the utterly low and devilish motivations in theirs as a consequence sordidly painful lives and reach such a state where the viewer might get relieved by considering one of them as a positive element. Instead the characters' lives shown in a continuous noir flashback of Fred MacMurray's not-a-confession are driven from the start to the very end by an utter greed in a form of double and not only indemnities with consequential and inherent to it risks and fears in a rather unsure world of insurance.

An insurance salesman Walter Neff (Fred MacMurray), a man with `no visible scars', starts to lose his already shaky dominance over his mind's yearnings when glimpses on a horizon a possibility of becoming a recipient of a monetary fortune along with no less seductive desire from a part of unhappily married and as devilishly beautiful as resourceful in pursuing her zany in its deadliness schemes, an ultimate femme fatale blond Phyllis (marvellously portrayed by Barbara Stanwyck).

Initially apparent as a romantic, the relationship gradually mutates into double confrontation of the two fears of the two characters in their greedy and ambitious pursuits, a conflict which at one point apparently results in a sort of humanization of Phyllis' character, appearing hiding the eyes of her soul behind the sun glasses, a humanization which is let to happen by her only to accentuate later her unchangeably fatal nature.

The double confrontation gradually evolves into a triple one when the threatening presence on the scene of no less and probably more resourceful character of Barton Keyes (Edward G. Robinson) becomes more and more evident, as a result of his continuous and obsessive investigation conducted with different but nor less ambitious motives. A motives which find its ultimate revelation in a most touching, but finally most hypocritical scene of declaration of love (I love you - I love you too) between Walter Neff and Barton Keyes in the end, exactly reflecting the same nature of previous interactions between Walter and Phyllis, where such moments with the very words used, such as the supreme word of loving affection - Baby lowered to an unthinkable extent, only were a mere preparation to struck another blow in yet another outburst of hate caused by a new misfortunate complication in carrying out so well devised and apparently perfect plan.

Permeated right from the start to the very end with the flavour of unstoppable fatality in an extent that a few other film-noirs achieved, accentuated by the wonderful music score by Miklos Rozsa, Double Indemnity's story is motored by the money like in nearly all of Billy Wilder films. But in this case all the misery produced by it as evident as never before resulting in utter corruption of already corrupted characters and their descent into a such a deep abyss of human misery as probably never before or after in a Hollywood film history, an abyss with no exit, with omnipresent hypocrisy, with no place for sincere human feelings of love, friendship or affection, an abyss to where the characters descent under the monotonous tune of Miklos Rozsa's score, which serves as a reflection of their monotonously hypocrite and ultimately doubly doomed lives. 10/10

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