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Double Indemnity
- Richard Crenna

Overview - Billy Wilder's classic noir, a familiar brew of lust, larceny, and lethal intentions, stars Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck as a hot-blooded couple. Framed in flashback, the story is told by the dying Walter Neff (MacMurray), beginning with his first meeting with the seductive Phyllis Dietrichson (Stanwyck) during a routine renewal of her husband's car insurance.  Read more...

 
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More About Double Indemnity - Richard Crenna
 
 
 
Overview

Billy Wilder's classic noir, a familiar brew of lust, larceny, and lethal intentions, stars Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck as a hot-blooded couple. Framed in flashback, the story is told by the dying Walter Neff (MacMurray), beginning with his first meeting with the seductive Phyllis Dietrichson (Stanwyck) during a routine renewal of her husband's car insurance. After some flirtation she arranges a meeting without her husband, where she asks about an accident policy to be bought without her husband's knowledge. Although repulsed by the implications of her suggestions, his obsession with Phyllis leads Neff to contemplate the possibility of finding a way to kill her husband while making his death look like an accident. After she comes to his apartment, the insurance salesman finally agrees to become involved in the murder, and the two of them begin methodically working out the details. After they dispose of Dietrichson, Neff learns more than he wanted about Phyllis' unsavory past, but realizes he's now too involved to extricate himself. He's also concerned about his a boss, Barton Keyes (Edward G. Robinson), an omniscient insurance investigator who has taken over the case. DOUBLE INDEMNITY is brilliant noir, among the best of the genre, with a byzantine yet utterly plausible plot, stylized hard-boiled dialogue by Wilder and Raymond Chandler, and three terrific performances by Stanwyck, MacMurray, and Robinson.

Cast List

Cesar Franck - French Composer\D. 1890
Joseph Sistrom
Barbara Stanwyck - American actress, DOUBLE INDEMNITY, STELLA DALLAS
Ruby Stevens - American actress, DOUBLE INDEMNITY, STELLA DALLAS
Fortunio Bonanova - Singer/Actor
Jean Heather
James M. Cain - American Pulp Fiction Novelist
Hal Pereira - Production Designer
Porter Hall - American Actor/30s-50s
Raymond Chandler - American Crime Noir Author
Tom Powers - American Actor/Teens-50s
Byron Barr - Supporting Actor
Billy Wilder - Director/screenwriter/producer
Samuel Wilder - Director/screenwriter/producer
Miklos Rozsa - Hollywood Composer, THIEF OF BAGDAD (1940), BEN-HUR (1959)
Fred MacMurray - American Film/TV Actor
Edward G. Robinson - Romanian-born actor, LITTLE CAESAR
Emanual Goldenberg - Romanian-born actor, LITTLE CAESAR
Doane Harrison - Hollywood Editor, SUNSET BOULEVARD (1958), STALAG 17 (1953)
Hans Dreier - Production Designer
Richard Gaines
John Seitz - Supporting Actor

 
Details
    DVD Format
  • Format: DVD
  • Run Time: 108
  • Color Format: B&W
  • UPC: 025192143311
  • Genre: Drama
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Release Date: September 2012

Related Categories:
Movies > Dramas

Related Keywords:
Classic
Psychodrama
Romance
Suspense
Thriller
Betrayal
Murder
Film Noir
Recommended
Melodrama
Infidelity
Theatrical Release
Essential Cinema

 
Movie Reviews

More Details

Notes:
DOUBLE INDEMNITY was added to the Library of Congress National Film Registry in 1992. Other films written by novelist Raymond Chandler include AND NOW TOMORROW; THE BLUE DAHLIA, from his own story; and THE UNSEEN. The story of DOUBLE INDEMNITY was inspired by the notorious Snyder-Gray murder that took place in Queens Village, New York, in the 1920s. Albert Snyder was bludgeoned to death by his wife, Ruth, and her lover, Judd Gray, in order to collect his insurance money. Woody Allen considers this to be the greatest movie ever made.

Reviews:
"...INDEMNITY has all the classic elements..." - 01/26/1994 USA Today, p.5D


"The noir formula takes a giant step forward: a domineering femme fatale; a dark, Expressionist visual style; and a violent, unhappy ending..." - 12/01/2003 Premiere, p.5


"[O]ne of the most memorable thrillers in Hollywood history." - 06/01/2005 Sight and Sound, p.82


"Barbara Stanwyck as Phyllis was the greatest of the hardboiled noir temptresses." - 08/01/2005 Uncut, p.134


Ranked #3 in Uncut's Best DVDs Of 2005 -- "The ultimate sex-greed-death classic." - 01/01/2006 Uncut, p.84-85


"Stanwyck cracks wise...while dripping pheromones." -- Grade: A - 09/01/2006 Entertainment Weekly, p.57


"DOUBLE INDEMNITY belongs to the early stages of American film noir....[With] a gallery of great character actors..." - 08/22/2006 New York Times, p.E6


"Film noir doesn't get more classic than Billy Wilder's 1944 tale of greed and lust." - 11/30/2006 Rolling Stone, p.100


5 stars out of 5 -- "[I]ts seamless pressure-cooker construction -- Wilder considered it his greatest film -- allows the temperature to ratchet slowly to boiling point." - 06/01/2012 Total Film


"[T]he cornerstone of film noir....What would become well-worn tropes in countless imitators are found here in irreducible freshness." - 07/01/2012 Sight and Sound

 
Customer Reviews