8.3/10
144,448
415 user 152 critic

Double Indemnity (1944)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 6 July 1944 (USA)
Trailer
2:16 | Trailer
An insurance representative lets himself be talked by a seductive housewife into a murder/insurance fraud scheme that arouses the suspicion of an insurance investigator.

Director:

Billy Wilder

Writers:

Billy Wilder (screenplay), Raymond Chandler (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
3,600 ( 32)
Top Rated Movies #119 | Nominated for 7 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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 ... Mr. Norton
Fortunio Bonanova ... Sam Gorlopis
John Philliber John Philliber ... Joe Pete
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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:

Paramount's terrific story of an unholy love, and an almost perfect crime! See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

For Neff's office at Pacific All Risk, Billy Wilder and set designer Hal Pereira conspired to create a little in-house joke, typical of Wilder. In the opening scenes, as Walter Neff stumbles off the elevator on his way to his office to record his confession, the vast two-tiered office is empty and dark. With the camera following him, Neff lurches towards the balcony railing overlooking rows and rows of uniform corporate desks. Neff turns left, but the camera continues forward until it reaches the brink and stares down for an anxious moment into a colorless American business purgatory. Here, Pereira is said to have copied an existing office: the corporate headquarters of Paramount Pictures in New York City. See more »

Goofs

Walter Neff is dictating the whole story in flashback format on a Dictaphone Cameo Model, which, even with the "Longer Play" cylinders with 200 grooves per inch could record up to 4.5 minutes. He pulls his cylinder from a 6 cylinder holder. Even if he used all 6 cylinders, that would only allow 27 minutes of recording. But the time between turning the Dictaphone on and off is 1 hour and 38 minutes. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Building attendant: Well, hello there, Mr. Neff.
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Crazy Credits

Opening credits are shown over a silhouette of a man on crutches, walking toward the camera. See more »

Connections

Referenced in King of Nothing (2016) 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
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User Reviews

 
It fits together like a watch
2 May 2004 | by SpondonmanSee all my reviews

I've now seen this movie 14 times in 25 years, at all times of the year, in all moods, sober or not etc - but always at night. I recorded my copy off TV in 1987 so I can only imagine what a remaster would do for it. With an atmosphere thick enough to cut with a knife it never fails to engross and enchant me, and although it's been dated for 40 years or more still seems relevant and watchable today. TV, answer phones, recordable CD/DVD, memory sticks and the internet have all come between us and yet I can still watch Fred MacMurray speaking into a Dictaphone without a qualm. Who wears a hat in California nowadays? Who buys beer whilst driving! Lift attendants have gone but I can still believe in Charlie working and laughing away in the garage past 11 at night.

Woman and man agree to murder woman's husband but on the way to the cemetery they face grilling by insurance company. I think everything has been said before on the IMDb - by those who think it's one of the best films ever made! To those who simply think the main problem is that it's dated I wish you could see the TV commercials that dug into DI back in '87 - what a hoot - and compare. I've just noticed the print TCM UK is showing in 2005 is lip-synced out, very wobbly Rosza music track, fading and ageing fast - worse than my 1987 video tape (maybe logically). They're supposed to be encouraging people to enjoy the classics but they won't do that with such inferior screening copies. Dear TCM UK, this is an impressive iconic film - it deserves a billion dollar remaster authorised by the Library of Congress, not repeatedly trotting out unimpressive cheap worn dupes to fill those 2 hour slots.

Everything about DI from the acting, production, direction, and music is superbly dignified and is as "close to perfection" as human beings are probably allowed to get with this form of Art - especially with the more limited technology at their disposal in '44. When most films from now are long forgotten and dated DI will still be getting re-runs on TV and art-house cinemas - God and remasters willing - that is the fact of it.

Fortunia Bonanova certainly was fortunate to have appeared in bit parts in 2 of the best films ever made - Citizen Kane the other.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Official site [UK]

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 July 1944 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Double Indemnity See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$927,262 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$13,886
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Ontario)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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