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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
4,108 ( 653)
Top Rated Movies #94 | 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

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

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.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Spoofed in Neighbours: Bubble Indemnity (2006) 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

 
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.


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