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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 the suspicion of an insurance investigator.

Director:

Billy Wilder

Writers:

Billy Wilder (screenplay), Raymond Chandler (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
4,299 ( 25)
Top Rated Movies #95 | 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:

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


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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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:

Assurance sur la mort See more »

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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:

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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Initially, Billy Wilder and Raymond Chandler had intended to retain as much of the book's original dialogue as possible. It was Chandler who first realized that the dialogue from the novella would not translate well to the screen. Wilder disagreed and was annoyed that Chandler was not putting more of it into the script. To settle it, Wilder hired a couple of contract players from the studio to read passages of Cain's original dialogue aloud. To Wilder's astonishment, Chandler was right and, in the end, the movie's cynical and provocative dialogue was more Chandler and Wilder than it was Cain. 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 The Simpsons: Dumbbell Indemnity (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Tangerine
(1941) (uncredited)
Music by Victor Schertzinger
Played on a radio
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
An all-time Hollywood classic
11 August 2003 | by NewEnglandPatSee all my reviews

This film noir classic may be the best murder mystery of all time in this storied Hollywood genre. Fred MacMurray and Edward G. Robinson are excellent but it is Barbara Stanwyck who really makes the picture come together as a woman without a moral compass. Stanwyck set the standard for tough, calculating, shady women who exploit men without shame or remorse and her masterful manipulation of MacMurray is the movie's central theme. The film's imagery is filled with shadows and low lighting, accompanied by a tense, brooding music score. Stanwyck spins her web of ensnarement like a black widow with her victim seemingly unaware of the danger that enfolds him. MacMurray provides the narrative of the film which is told in flashback and delivers a cryptic account of the events in a confession to a boss who trusted him completely. Robinson is on target as the skeptical and suspicious boss who has a sixth sense about phony insurance claims. A nice supporting cast contributes to this thriller, namely Richard Gaines and Porter Hall.


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