Double Indemnity

Double Indemnity

DVD - 2006
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Walter Neff is a smooth talking insurance salesman who meets the very attractive Phyllis Dietrichson when he calls to renew her husband's automobile policy. The couple are immediately drawn to each other and have an affair. They scheme together to murder Phyllis' husband for life insurance money with a double indemnity clause. Unfortunately, all does not go as planned. Barton Keyes is the wily insurance investigator who must sort things out.
Publisher: Universal City, Calif. : Universal Studios Home Entertainment, [2006], ©1944
Edition: Second-disc special edition full screen version
ISBN: 9781417072514
Branch Call Number: 7.914 Do
Description: 2 videodiscs (108 min.) : sound, black and white ; 4 3/4 in
Audience: MPAA ratng: Not rated


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What Is Film Noir?

Film noir is not easily defined. The actual words come from French and mean "black cinema." It was in France during the post-war years that the term was used to describe a certain set of Hollywood films that were saturated with a darkness and cynicism that was not seen before. These movies included The Maltese Falcon (1941), Double Indemnity (1944), Laura (1944), and Murder, My… (more)

From Library Staff

1944. Starring Fred McMurray and Barbara Stanwyck. An insurance representative lets himself be talked into a murder/insurance fraud scheme that arouses an insurance investigator's suspicions.

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Jun 25, 2019

One of the all-time greats among noir films. The dialogue between MacMurray and Stanwyck sizzles with suggestions and double entendres. Why are you wasting time reading about this film? See it for yourself! You will NOT regret it.

Jun 11, 2019

Filmed in b&w - "Double Indemnity" is vintage, Hollywood film noir from 1944.

Its story concerns a scheming wife who lures a gullible insurance salesman into helping murder her husband and then declare it an accident. Together these two mismatched lovers concoct a twisted scheme to collect the benefits of a insurance policy.

For the most part - This oldie-moldie is fairly entertaining.

Dec 21, 2018

VERY GOOD 1944 film noir featuring Fred MacMurray, fab Barbara Stanwyck, and Edward G. Robinson. Plot didn't REALLY engage me - but the film overall was an interesting episode in 40's movie sytle development.

Mar 23, 2018

The greatest film noir ever, using black and white to bring out the inner thoughts and feelings of the characters. Barbara Stanwyck nails it as the femme fatale, and Edward G. is relentless in his investigative digging. Billy Wilder should have won all the Oscars for this picture. Excellent sexual and suggestive double entendre steamy dialogue which really pushed against the code in Hollywood at the time.

plotline Jun 05, 2017

Approaching Perfection

Mrs. Dietrichson (Barbara Stanwyck) and Mr. Neff (Fred MacMurray) have murder in mind. Target: Mr. Dietrichson. Have the smooth-talking insurance man (Neff) get the grumpy husband to sign, unknowingly, for an accident policy, then bump off the husband, sit back and wait for the fat settlement check to arrive. It's a diabolical plan that works perfectly...until Mrs. Dietrichson gets something else in mind.

That's the cold-blooded set up in Billy Wilder's superb noir, DOUBLE INDEMNITY. And it's a miracle the film was ever made.

From Maurice Zolotow's very excellent biography, BILLY WILDER IN HOLLYWOOD, we discover: the production exec at Paramount thought it was a "dirty" movie and fought it; Charles Brackett, Wilder's longtime collaborator, found the idea of it "disgusting" and refused to work on it; every agent and every actor in Hollywood, including MacMurray, avoided the Neff role: too lowdown sleazy; Wilder and crime novelist/screenwriter Raymond Chandler engaged in a battle of eccentrics...they loathed each other. But who ever said art was easy?

Stanwyck and MacMurray play the spider and the not-so-helpless fly, respectively, as though they were born to the parts. Edward G. Robinson as claims adjuster Barton Keyes puts on a virtual acting clinic: gesticulating, scowling, sneering, rolling the words off his tongue with obvious delight and ingenious timing. It is one of his most brilliant, awe-inspiring portrayals.

DOUBLE INDEMNITY has been cited as the first noir to reveal the killer in the early scenes; it's also the first to use an extended voice-over flashback to tell the story, an approach that has been imitated ad infinitum. Two more things: the inspired opening credits- the growing shadow of a crippled man that finally engulfs the screen; and that devastating fade-out at the end. The film is easily one of the greatest noirs ever filmed.



May 14, 2017

I felt there needed to be a bit more history & character development before the instant love affair, but there are time limits. This ranks with "Dial M for Murder" in it's devious plot to kill people. EGR is excellent in the supporting role. This may come across as cliché, but cliché had to start somewhere. My only question is how many of those Ediphone cylinders did Walter Neff burn through during his confession?

Nov 24, 2015

Told in flashback during a taped confession, Wilder pulls out all the stops with crackling dialogue and an undercurrent of restrained eroticism all taking place in a permanently twilit Los Angeles. MacMurray smirks, Stanwyck smoulders, Robinson growls, and it seems a bit exaggerated and corny by today’s blasé standards but to diehard genre fans this is the mother lode. Great fun!

triptophan Jan 18, 2015

The movie, Double Indemnity is one of the BEST film noir movies ever made! Highly recommend. Barbara Stanwyck gives one of her best performances yet as the wife who kills her husband for his insurance money. Rent this dvd! A movie to watch again and again.

Jul 04, 2014

This is a true masterpiece. An amazing film noir directed by the great Billy Wilder. Every moment of this film is captivating. If you like Film Noir, then you will most likely love this. It is captivating from beginning to end. The black and white is stunningly beautiful!! Hands down, this is a Must See.

Jul 02, 2014

Great movies like Double Indemnity take a great director, in this case Billy Wilder. He then puts together a great cast and production team. I am here to tell you that these people made one of Hollywood's finest movies. It is thrilling, chilling and darn right entertaining. A Big Five Star Classic with emotional punch. Few movies punch as good as Double Indemnity!

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Sep 09, 2012

Walter Neff (voiceover): "...Yes, I killed him. I killed him for money -- and a woman. ...And I didn't get the money, and I didn't get the woman. Pretty, isn't it?"

Sep 09, 2012

Phyllis Dietrichson: "Nettie, show Mr. Neff into the living room." Walter Neff: "Where would the living room be?" Nettie: "In there, but they keep the liquor locked up." Walter Neff: "That's alright, I always carry my own keys..."

Sep 09, 2012

Walter Neff: "Look baby, you can't get away with it. You wanna knock him off, don'tcha." Phyllis Dietrichson: "That's a horrible thing to say." Walter Neff: "Who'd you think I was anyway? The guy that walks into a good looking dame's front parlor and says, "Good afternoon, I sell accident insurance on husbands... you got one that's been around too long? One you'd like to turn into a little hard cash?" Just gimme a smile and I'll help you collect? Boy, what a dope you must think I am." Phyllis Dietrichson: "I think you're rotten." Walter Neff: "I think you're swell -- so long as I'm not your husband." Phyllis Dietrichson: "Get out of here." Walter Neff: "You bet I'll get out of here, baby. I'll get out of here, but quick."

Sep 09, 2012

Walter Neff (voiceover): "How could I have known that murder could sometimes smell like honeysuckle?"

Sep 09, 2012

Edward S. Norton: "There's a widespread feeling that just because a man has a large office he must be an idiot."

Sep 09, 2012

Walter Neff (voiceover): "That was all there was to it. Nothing had slipped, nothing had been overlooked.There was nothing to give us away. And yet, Keyes, as I was walking down the street to the drugstore, suddenly, it came over me that everything would go wrong. It sounds crazy Keyes, but it's true, so help me. ...I couldn't hear my own footsteps. It was the walk of a dead man."


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