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Double Indemnity (1944)

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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
2,946 ( 425)
Top Rated Movies #90 | 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:

From the Moment they met it was 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

In the first scene in which Walter first kisses Phyllis, we see a wedding ring on Walter's hand. Fred MacMurray was married and the ring was not noticed until post-production. See more »

Goofs

The tail sign said Southern Pacific 19. In 1939 train 19 became the KLAMATH which ran between Oakland and Portland and not southern California. 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 Long Goodbye (1973) 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

 
Absorbing and worthy suspense film about blackmails , killing , corruption and strong intrigue
30 June 2015 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

Vintage Noir Film with gritty interpretation , atmospheric settings , crackling dialogue throughout and powerhouse filmmaking . This Billy Wilder's first thriller is one of the finest Noir film ever made . A scheming wife (Barbara Stanwyck) lures an insurance salesman (Fred MacMurray , though Alan Ladd, George Raft, Brian Donlevy, James Cagney, Spencer Tracy, Gregory Peck, and Fredric March were all up for the leading role) into helping murder her husband and then declare it an accident . Both of whom concoct a twisted scheme to collect the benefits of a insurance policy . As the hubby's policy contains a clause that states that if the husband's death caused by a moving train the policy pays double face value . The investigator's boss (Edward G. Robinson) , not knowing his colleague is involved in it , suspects murder and sets out to prove it .

This first-rate and entertaining American classic Noir film draws its riveting tale and power from the interaction of finely drawn roles as well as drama , emotion and moody atmosphere . This classic mystery thriller follows James M Cain's book fairly closely otherwise . Twisted film Noir about murder , troubled relationships , treason , dark secrets , including an unforgettable dialog ; being based on the James M Cain's novel , which in turn was based on the true story of Ruth Snyder, the subject of a notorious 1920s murder trial , being screen-written by the prestigious Raymond Chandler and the same Billy Wilder . However , Billy Wilder and Raymond Chandler did not get along well while writing this film's script, a process that was apparently filled with arguments . As Billy Wilder didn't really get on with the famous novelist whose constant drinking irritated the director . It packs a good realization , an original script , haunting atmosphere , intriguing events ; for that reason madness and murder prevail . Fred MacMurray is superb as insurance salesman coerced into murder plot and Barbara Stanwick as predatory and alluring Femme Fatale is magnificent . Here his colleague Edward G Robinson is extraordinary and as cool as ever ; he plays as the astute and stubborn investigator , his scenes with Fred MacMurray are awesome and at their best . But Edward G. Robinson's initial reluctance to sign on largely stemmed from the fact he wasn't keen on being demoted to third lead . Good support cast formed by notorious secondaries such as Porter Hall , Tom Powers , Jean Heather , Byron Barr and Fortunio Bonanova . And Raymond Chandler's cameo , this marks the only film appearance of screenwriter and novelist Raymond Chandler .

Exciting as well as complex film , possessing a mysterious and fascinating blend of gripping thriller , serenity , baroque suspense in which especially stands out the portentous performances , evocative cinematography in black and white by John F. Seitz and thrilling musical score by the classic Miklos Rozsa . The motion picture was stunningly directed by the great Billy Wilder , as the American Film Institute ranked this as the #29 Greatest Movie of All Time . The film was nominated for 7 Academy Awards but lost out on the night to Going my way (1944) by Leo McCarey. It got a deep inspiration for other films , it is particularly obvious for ¨Body heat¨ by Lawrence Kasdan with William Hurt , Kathleen Turner and Richard Crenna . Remade for TV in 1954 by Buzz Kulik with Frank Lovejoy , Ray Collins and Laraine Day , and 1973 TV remake of the 1940s classic by Jack Smight with Richard Crenna , Samantha Eggar , and Robert Webber .


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