8.3/10
140,992
402 user 151 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 »
Reviews
Popularity
3,785 ( 386)
Top Rated Movies #119 | Nominated for 7 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

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
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! (print ad - Lubbock Morning Avalanche - Lindsey Theatre - Lubbock, Texas - September 1, 1944 - all caps) See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was nominated for seven Academy Awards, but lost out to Going My Way (1944). Billy Wilder was so 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 four Oscars, while McCarey's The Bells of St. Mary's (1945) only picked up one. See more »

Goofs

When Walter and Phyllis are kissing and talking on his couch, they show Phyllis with her left hand, palm up; next shot is a side angle where she suddenly has her left hand caressing Walter's cheek. See more »

Quotes

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

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Sertoli, Sertoli, Sertoli (2009) 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 »

User Reviews

 
Justifiably At The Top Of Most Film Noir Lists
23 December 2005 | by ccthemovieman-1See 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.


158 of 193 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 402 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

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 »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$927,262 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$13,886
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Ontario)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed