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Purchase Double Indemnity (1944) Movie Online and Download - Billy Wilder 🎥
Year:
1944
Country:
USA
Genre:
Crime, Drama, Thriller, Film-Noir
IMDB rating:
8.4
Director:
Billy Wilder
Fred MacMurray as Walter Neff
Barbara Stanwyck as Phyllis Dietrichson
Edward G. Robinson as Barton Keyes
Porter Hall as Mr. Jackson
Jean Heather as Lola Dietrichson
Tom Powers as Mr. Dietrichson
Byron Barr as Nino Zachetti
Richard Gaines as Edward S. Norton, Jr.
Fortunio Bonanova as Sam Garlopis
John Philliber as Joe Peters
George Anderson as Warden at Execution (scenes deleted)
Al Bridge as Execution Chamber Guard (scenes deleted)
Edward Hearn as Warden's Secretary (scenes deleted)
Boyd Irwin as First Doctor at Execution (scenes deleted)
George Melford as Second Doctor at Execution (scenes deleted)
William O'Leary as Chaplain at Execution (scenes deleted)
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.
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Reviews
"I love you too."
Mere words cannot express my love for this film. This movie is a crystallization of silver screen perfection, a rare event where every little thing aligns to bestow the lucky viewers with what can only be described as breathtaking art.

The performances in this movie are superb. In a script riddled with hardboiled dialog and outlandish implausibilities, everyone hits the right note, and makes the endeavor compelling. Stanwyck is at her most seductive and powerful, and Edward G. Robinson gives the movie the perfect moral ground.

But the best performance has to be given to Fred MacMurray who turns the clichéd role of a man seduced by a woman into something more than the sleaze bag he should be. He becomes a character you're invested in, a man who is shaken from his complacent life and thoroughly destroyed by the demons he creates. And through this all, through murder in its many incarnations, you still can't help feel for the man. The character of Walter Neff, in so many words, takes on a life of its own thanks to MacMurray, and keeps the audience compelled no matter what sins he commits. The tics and libido exuded add to his charm and make him deservedly one of the most iconic characters of all time.

A lot of this credit must be given to Billy Wilder, my personal favorite director and a man whose films can all be completely different but possess enough tics to be instantly recognizable. The beauty of his shots and the set up of the script blend perfectly, creating a universe that is tangible and complex.

If you have not seen this movie, please do.
2006-07-12
The First Truly Great Noir
"The Maltese Falcon" is generally considered to be the very first film noir, but Billy Wilder's "Double Indemnity" is the first GREAT noir. With actors that perfectly understood Wilder's penchant for black as tar humour, this film is as seedy, dark and many times funny as they come. Barbara Stanwyck is a knockout as the classic femme fatale, complete with cheap blonde wig and ankle bracelets. Fred MacMurray makes a terrific dope, his silly machimso preventing him from realizing that Stanwyck is one step ahead of him through the entire film. And Edward G. Robinson shines as usual in a small but important role.

For me, this film breaks new ground in the hard-boiled/detective/murder mystery genre. I believe it was a bit of a flop when it came out, but that's easy to understand. Films that in retrospect prove themselves to be cutting edge are frequently dismissed at the time of their release. "Double Indemnity" doesn't have the look of other studio films of its period, not even other gritty detective films of its period. The lighting is stark and grimy; you can almost see every speck of dust in the shafts of light slanting in through the windows. Wilder gets the feel of a corrupt L.A. just right. But even more than its look, the film is years ahead of its time in its moral tone. Not only do the characters in this film not find redemption, they appear to be unredeemable. Each shows him/herself to be colder and more cynical than the other, and there's a "Bonnie and Clyde"-like inevitability to their eventual fates.

Simply sensational. And watch for the list of "supposin'"s MacMurray and Stanwyck throw back and forth at each other in one scene. It's hilarious and perfect, and those who've seen the film will know exactly what I'm talking about.

Grade: A+
2005-07-05
The ultimate noir
"Double Indemnity" is a 1944 film directed by Billy Wilder, and it's a classic. The plot has been around forever - a beautiful woman seduces a man because she wants him to help kill her husband. What Wilder does with it demonstrates his mastery.

Wilder's genius starts with the casting of Fred MacMurray, Everyman if there ever was one, as Walter, an insurance man. A boring profession and what appears to be an ordinary, albeit attractive man who is also a good salesman. Barbara Stanwyck is Phyllis, the femme fatale. Blonde with a beautiful figure, an icy, challenging manner, and a seductive voice. Edward G. Robinson is Keyes, the insurance investigator and good friend of Walter's. Dogged yet warm as he follows clues to what he believes is a murder and not an accident.

There's nothing tender about the MacMurray-Stanwyck love affair, and Stanwyck delivers her lines in a cold, calculating way - the same way she does the love scenes. Walter comes off as fresh at first - what salesman would flirt with a married woman as obviously as he does - but he probably realizes when Phyllis appears wrapped in a towel that she probably wants him to. There's nothing spontaneous about Phyllis asking about life insurance for her husband; it's been on her mind since Walter showed up to renew the car insurance. The minute she says she doesn't want her husband to know about it, Walter knows what she's up to. Though their plan is brilliant, Keyes is smarter than they realize.

I love the way it's introduced into the plot that Phyllis was the first Mrs. Diedrickson's nurse and that Lola, Phyllis' stepdaughter, suspects Phyllis hurried her mother's death along. I also love Walter's cold feet as he becomes interested in Lola - but it's too late.

"Double Indemnity" can only be described as compelling - it's not action-packed but there isn't a wasted or slow second. Stanwyck, who could be a very likable actress, plays a real conniver, and she does so brilliantly. MacMurray gives a relaxed performance - he's actually perfect casting, as one can see how easily he gets sucked into Phyllis' plan. Edward G. Robinson is the film's anchor as Keyes, who is like a father to Walter but also a man who takes his job very seriously. He's determined to get to the truth of the case, and every word he says is like chalk on a blackboard to the guilty Walter.

Wilder's brilliant direction and pacing shows in every frame, and the surprise ending is the icing on the cake. A great noir, a dream cast, a great director, Hollywood at its very best.
2007-09-08
"Noir" by Any Other Name...
This film hits the screen like a well trained Olympic runner with comfortable shoes who can feel the gold around his neck before his heels are even in the blocks. It's what they call `film noir,' because from the opening frames you know that the guy doing the talking is looking at a no-win situation, that he's going to lose and lose big. Oh, sure, he knows it now; everything you're about to see has already happened, his goose has already been cooked, and now he's going to tell you about it, let you in on what went down, how it went south and why. He'll even give you the heads up on the irony of the whole thing right out of the chute, how like our Olympic runner he could feel the gold in his hand before the ink on the insurance paper was even dry-- yeah, that's right it was an insurance scam, see, and a good one too-- all the bases were covered and checked for chinks, but in the end-- and here's where the irony comes in-- in the end, he didn't get the money and he didn't even get the girl who put the whole thing in motion.

`Double Indemnity,' a classic `noir' thriller in anybody's book, was directed by Billy Wilder, a guy who knows all the ins and outs, ups and downs and double shuffles of the business better than a short jockey on a tall horse. He's the `go to' guy in a game like this, because he knows all the angles, he knows the lingo and more than that, he has the insights to make it play out like it was the real deal; this guy knows what makes people tick, what motivates them and it's an ace up his sleeve that he plays like a trump card when the chips are down or even if a stack or two looks like they're about to go over. He knows the whole layout, from top to bottom and side to side because he wrote the script along with another guy you might have heard about, Raymond Chandler, another member of the club who just happens to know his way around the block and back again. This is a guy who doesn't need a road map to tell him which way to go; he's the guy who `invented' the map. And when a couple of the boys like Wilder and Chandler get together to make it up and put it down, it's as good as in the can, especially when they're getting the skinny in the first place from James M. Cain, who it just so happens wrote the novel this movie's based on. Besides which, they got the names Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck down on the dotted lines, the ones that count, the ones that say they're the ones who are the stars of the picture, see? Let's face it, that's like having Ruth, Mantle and Mays in the outfield at the same time with Sandy Koufax on the mound and Don Drysdale warming up behind him in the bull pen. The opposition might as well climb back on the bus and take the long ride on the short pier, because Wilder's team already has the big `W' next to their name in the box score.

Like I said before, and I'm going to say it again because if there's one thing I've learned during my time on the planet it's that sometimes people just don't listen, or maybe there's some things they just don't want to hear. But like I was saying, this story's about an insurance scam, a dirty deal that all starts when Mr. Walter Neff (MacMurray), a salesman with a head a couple of sizes too big for his hat, makes a house call and runs into a dame, and not just any dame; her name is Phyllis Dietrichson (Stanwyck), a woman with the kind of beauty that stops traffic, turns heads and makes monkeys out of guys like Neff, guys that think they got it knocked when all the time they're standing in quicksand and don't even know it till they're in up to their ears and gasping for that last breath. But that's the name of the game; Neff isn't the first guy to find his tiller on the wrong side of the mule because of a pretty face, moist lips and the sweet smell of perfume that sells it all like the siren's song, and he won't be the last to have the deal closed by promises of something that never will be and never has been, though it's victims are heaped along the side of the carefree highway like mounds of bark dust just waiting to be spread or lost in the wind.

Maybe that's not a pretty picture, but everything can't be a glossy print on Kodak paper, and you can take that to the bank because history's full of stories like this. Let's face it, Monet didn't have good eyesight, Van Gogh was down an ear and neither Mona nor her sister Lisa knew how to smile. And when a pair like Walter and Phyllis get together to cook a stew, there's always a Barton Keyes (Edward G. Robinson) waiting in the wings for them to screw up, take a wrong step or flash a tell that attracts a guy with a nose for fraud like a metal rod drawing lightening.

It takes some real `pros' to play the game at this level, and that's Wilder's team all right; but he needed some support to win this big, and he got it from the likes of Porter Hall (Mr. Jackson), Jean Heather (Lola), Tom Powers (Mr. Dietrichson) and Byron Barr (Nino). This film will give you the kind of ride a Six Flags park could only dream of, and that's what makes `Double Indemnity' one you're going to remember like a first kiss on a warm night in summer. 10/10.

2002-09-04
The Walk of a Dead Man
In 1938, the experienced salesman of the Pacific All Risk Insurance Co. Walter Neff (Fred MacMurray) meets the seductive wife of one of his client, Phyllis Dietrichson (Barbara Stanwick), and they have an affair. Phyllis proposes to kill her husband Dietrichson (Tom Powers) to receive the prize of an accident insurance policy and Walter plots a scheme to receive twice the amount based on a double indemnity clause. When Mr. Dietrichson is found dead on the trails of a train, the police accepts the evidence of accidental death. However, the insurance analyst and Walter's best friend Barton Keyes (Edward G. Robinson) does not buy the version and suspects that Phyllis has murdered her husband with the help of another man.

In my opinion, Billy Wilder was the greatest director of Hollywood ever, directing many masterpieces including "Double Indemnity" among them. This is the second time that I see this magnificent film-noir, now on DVD recently released in Brazil (the first time was in the cable television, since this masterpiece has never been released on VHS in my country). The story and screenplay are stunning, disclosing a sordid story of lust, love, greed and betrayal. Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwick and Edward G. Robinson have magnificent performances. The cinematography is simply spectacular, with an awesome use of lights and shadows and the music score completes one of the best movies Hollywood has ever produced. My vote is ten.

Title (Brazil): "Pacto de Sangue" ("Pact of Blood")
2007-07-29
Classic Film Noir Movie
This is a good film noir movie that is compelling to watch and leaves you thinking. I watched this film first in my film studies class at college and i thought when it came on "oh no" black and white its going to be boring but the fact is that it wasn't, the incredible storyline alone is so interesting the actors especially Fred Mac Murray are excellent picking Mac Murray out in particular a slick cool insurance salesman who is a bit of a womanizer!!.

I did however think that they would have got away with that kind of murder, i really think it would have been hard to find out the exact details of that case and then find the murderer or murderers. The film on a whole reminds me of The Godfather or an old classic murder drama, the dark rooms the fast New York accent talk and the fascinating dress sense (not to mention the way Neff can light a match like that so slick)!!

Overall a very enjoyable film for anyone of any age, it will not offend anyone and is one classic that must be seen

9/10
2004-10-01
steaming passion?
There is not really much steaming passion here, nothing like what you might expect from a film based upon a story by James M Cain. I have previously noted that Barbara Stanwyck seems a little lacking in this department, despite the odd alluring glance. But it is Fred MacMurray I noticed on this viewing rather unconvincing. Then it occurred to me that we are so used to thinking of Stanwyck's character (maybe even her) as being rather cold and calculating, that we do not notice the similar position of MacMurray. He even says at some point (to himself probably) that he is keen to see if he can beat his own company, more specifically his rather close chum, here played immaculately by Edward G Robinson. Even though this is all told in flashback and much of it in voice over, it is hard to criticise a frame of this remarkable movie of greed, power and deceit. Even though the origin is a Cain short story, Billy Wilder and more significantly, Raymond Chandler have crafted the script and the combination of talents managed to produce a sharp and witty dialogue driven film that can be watched so many times.
2017-07-17
Some times, when they least expect it.....
There are occasional times when all the elements come together to make a great film that will stand the passing of time. "Double Indemnity" seems to be an example of this phenomenon.

First, there was a great novel by one of America's best mystery writers, James Cain, who created these characters that seem will live forever in our imagination. Then, the lucky break in getting the right man to direct it, Billy Wilder, a man who knew about how to make a classic out of the material that he adapted with great care and elegance with Raymond Chandler, a man who knew about the genre.

"Double Indemnity" works because it's a story we can relate to. There is a greedy woman trapped in a bad marriage, who sees the opportunity when she encounters an insurance agent who is instantly smitten with her and who has only sex in his mind. The manipulator, Phyllis Dietrichson, doesn't need much to see how Walter desires her. His idea of having her husband sign an insurance policy he knows nothing about, thinking he is doing something else, will prove a fatal flaw in judgment.

Mr. Wilder achieves in this film what others try, with disastrous results. The director, who was working under the old Hays Code, shows so much sex in the film with fully clothed actors, yet one feels the heat exuding from the passion Walter Neff feels for Phyllis. He is a man that will throw everything away because he is blinded by the promise of what his life will be once the husband is out of the picture.

In life, as well as in fiction, there are small and insignificant things that will derail the best laid plans. First, there i Jackson, the man who shouldn't have been smoking at the rear of the train, contemplating the passing landscape. Then, no one counts in the ability of Barton Keys, the man in the agency who has seen it all! Walter and Phyllis didn't take that into consideration and it will backfire on their plan.

We try to make a point to take a look at "Double Indemnity" when it shows on cable from time to time. Barbara Stanwyck makes a magnificent Phyllis. There are no false movements in her performance. Phyllis gets under Walter's skin because she knows where her priorities lie and makes good use of them in order to render Walter helpless under her spell.

Fred McMurray makes a perfect Walter. He is consumed by his passion and he will do anything because of what he perceives will be the reward for doing the crime. Walter Neff was perhaps Mr. McMurray's best creation. He is completely believable and vulnerable.

Edgar G. Robinson, as Barton Keys, makes one of his best performances for the screen. Keys is a man that has seen all the schemes pass by his desk. He is, in a way, Walter's worst nightmare, because working next to Keys, he gets to know how wrong he was in the planning of the crime.

The supporting cast is excellent. Porter Hall, Jean Heather, Tom Powers, Richard Gaines, Fortunio Buonanova and John Philliber are perfect.

The music score of Miklos Rosza gives the film a texture and a dimension that capitalizes on the action it intends to enhance. Also the music of Cesar Franck and Franz Schubert contribute to the atmosphere of the movie. The great cinematography of John Seitz, who will go on to direct films, is another asset in the movie. Edith Head's costumes are absolutely what a woman like Phyllis would wear right down to her ankle bracelet.

This film shows a great man at his best: Billy Wilder!
2005-07-17
Don't Drink The Lemonade: Run!
Spoilers Ahead:

This works so well that Kasdan copied so much of it. McMurray is out of his typical role as a jaded salesman looking to do more than sell insurance policies. The first feature that is great is that Phyllis is like an iceberg, what you see of her, just like Matty Walker in Body Heat, is very, very little. The first meeting is just two predators walking around each other sizing, no pun intended, each other up. Dressing to kill with perfume and bracelets, she is constantly looking for an existential vacuum cleaner to rid herself of an unwanted husband. What works well is we never know how much Keyes knows about what is going on. Wilder starts with Keyes tearing up a phony claimant right in front of Neff, this sets the stage for, upon first viewing, never knowing if Keyes is toying with them. The mark of a great Film Noir is inversion, like Out Of The Past. There, the woman we thought was the victim was the tarantula behind the scenes, the biggest villain of all. Here, as in Body Heat, Phyillis is the picture of the needy, helpless, unhappy woman, she plays Neff like a violin. Again, as in Body Heat, she lets him think the killing is his idea, not hers. The actual killing, while meticulously planned, had one big hole in it, a witness verifying Phyllis' husband on the back of the train before the 'accident.' This comes back to haunt both of them for they need to establish that he was there, before he, supposedly fell.

This bungle is what starts Keyes on their trail; Mr. Statistics breaks out the memorized table for accidents and convinces himself of the truth. This starts the unraveling of the never quite happy couple. Neff gets spooked and starts to panic, what is creepy, when you watch this over, is that Phyllis was already planning Neff's demise during this period. Stanwyk's performance is the star of the movie; multi-layered with deceit upon deceit. Neff underestimates her, and he pays with his life for it. The most disturbing part is where the step-daughter relays how Phyllis was a nurse and how she killed her mother. Like Body Heat, the male protagonist discovers that the poor victim is actually a malevolent predator. By the end, Neff is the helpless one, I love when he walks towards her thinking that she would never shoot him, wrong. This remains the classic for its writing above all; nothing is as it appears upon the surface. Wilder toys with us, we start looking over our shoulders for Keyes, just as Neff does.

Like all classic Noir, watch for the shadow filled first meeting between Neff and Phyillis, compare to the ending. Shadows in Noir are existential metaphors for Darkness inside of people. Even in the first meeting, the room is full of shadows, often behind Phyllis and on parts of her body. The husband is drawn unsympathetically to increase your surprise when you discover she has been planning this since she was a nurse who killed the first wife. This is why people compare Body Heat to this classic; the Femme Fatale is a sliver of her true self. As the male victim gets in over his head, both Kasdan and Wilder unveil the hidden monster. While I prefer Out Of The Past, for Douglas and Mitchum, this is a very close second. Don't let McMurray scare you away, Wilder has him under control here; honestly, it is not the rambling McMurray of The Caine Mutiny. Edward G. steals all of his scenes, the movie was attacked on the grounds of his role being more of a cameo than real support. Yes, he has just a few scenes, but he looms invisibly in the background worrying both Neff and the audience. The 40's movie code sanctioned infidelity quite severely, this movie is no exception. It attenuates Neff being as truly a victim as Mitchum's moral protagonist in Out Of The Past.

It is simply, one of the best written, acted and directed Film Noirs. When you watch it, study how the director uses shadows in the frame; they usually fall upon the people. Excellent Classic, Wilder's Best Movie By A Mile. Q.E.D.
2016-02-16
Noir at its best
Double Indemnity is a true spectacle. It handles every aspect of film making perfectly. The dark lighting illuminating everything bet the character in question heightens suspense. Never showing the murder take place doesn't take away from the impact because Barbara Stanwyck's blank, emotionless expression gives even more of an impact. Edward G. Robinson shines as Barton Keyes. His abrasive yet respectable candor is played incredibly well. Your stomach drops at points when the culprits plan may be uncovered and your heart skips beat when the two perpetrators may be caught. But what really ties this film together is the friendship of Walter Neff(Fred MacMurray) and Barton Keyes which is torn in such a pitiable way.
2015-12-17
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