Double Indemnity

Double Indemnity

DVD - 2012
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Publisher: Universal City, CA : Universal Studios Home Entertainment, c2012
Branch Call Number: DVD ADULT FICTION
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (108 min.) : sound, black and white ; 4 3/4 in
Language Note: In English or Spanish with optional English SDH, French, or Spanish subtitles

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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.

Noir to see: I WAKE UP SCREAMING-1941; NIGHT AND THE CITY-1950; CAPE FEAR-1962;

3/27/16

u
uzebdrumz
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?

n
Nursebob
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.

m
midnight_fleur28
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.

g
garycornell
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!

mapmusic17 Apr 05, 2014

5 Stars. One of the all time greats. The stars have never been better. Grab it now OR ELSE.

theorbys Dec 08, 2013

Impeccably made, and unforgetable.

f
Fuzzy_Wuzzy
Oct 21, 2013

Released in 1944 - Double Indemnity's story of vicious betrayal may be somewhat flawed and inconsistent. - And, its 3 principal actors may have been miscast (especially Barbara Stanwyck as the deceitfully wicked femme fatale in a cheap-looking wig) - But, overall, it's quite easy to see why this vintage, Hollywood Crime/Drama is considered to be a true "classic" of 1940s Film Noir._____ Containing plenty of loaded dialogue, dim, shadowy settings, and flashes of well-timed tension, Double Indemnity's story of murder and deception comes together quite nicely as the scattered pieces of its plot-line eventually all fit into one like that of a master jigsaw puzzle._____ Fred MacMurray plays Walter Neff, an over-confident, but naively gullible insurance salesman, who, thinking that he's got it all figured out, gets played for a prize sucker when the seductive, well-to-do Mrs. Dietrichson snares him into a diabolical plot to kill her husband in order to collect $100,000 through the double indemnity clause in his life insurance policy._____ Filmed in glossy b&w, Double Indemnity's story was co-written by the famed crime-novelist Raymond Chandler. It was directed by Billy Wilder, known for such films as Sunset Boulevard and Some Like It Hot.

d
d1967
Feb 22, 2013

Edward G Robinson is perhaps the best movie star ever !

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Quotes

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m
Monolith
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?"

m
Monolith
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..."

m
Monolith
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."

m
Monolith
Sep 09, 2012

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

m
Monolith
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."

m
Monolith
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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