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Double Indemnity (1944)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 6 July 1944 (USA)
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An insurance representative lets himself be talked into a murder/insurance fraud scheme that arouses an insurance investigator's suspicions.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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4,753 ( 231)
Top Rated Movies #88 | Nominated for 7 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
... Walter Neff
... Phyllis Dietrichson
... Barton Keyes
... Mr. Jackson
... Lola Dietrichson
... Mr. Dietrichson
... Nino Zachetti
... Mr. Norton
... Sam Gorlopis
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:

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


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site [UK]

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

6 July 1944 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Frau ohne Gewissen  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$927,262 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$5,720,000, 31 December 1944
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Ontario)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Raymond Chandler was kept on a writer's retainer during the film's eight-week shooting period. This was a highly unusual occurrence for any writer at any studio at the time, signifying the high regard that Chandler was held in by Paramount and Billy Wilder. See more »

Goofs

When Dietrichson's body is discovered on the tracks, and presumed to be the victim of an accident, his body would have been taken to the medical examiner's office for identification and autopsy. It might be thought how this would quickly reveal that he had been strangled, and had not fallen from the train due to the absence of bruises on the body - except Neff did not strangle Dietrichson in the car (he snapped the man's neck); and bruises on the body are possible but not guaranteed with such a small fall at low speed with the prime impact taken by the back of the man's neck. 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 Brooklyn Rules (2007) 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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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Justifiably At The Top Of Most Film Noir Lists
23 December 2005 | by 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.


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