Double Indemnity (1944)

Double Indemnity, the classic film noir, crime drama is pretty exciting. I watched it a couple of weeks ago for the first time and It was an exciting film and one of the coolest things is that even though it’s been out for 70 years still had me trying to figure out how things would end. It was Billy Wilder’s third film and he co-wrote the film with Raymond Chandler. This film is considered to be the film that put film noir on the map. Spoilers may follow.

Double Indemnity is a film that is told in flashback, it’s about an insurance salesman Walter Neff (Fred MacMurry) who while making a house call runs into an attractive housewife, Phyllis Dietrichson (Barbara Stanwyck). They flirt at first and then Phyllis asks if there is any way to take out an insurance policy on her husband without him knowing it, Neff rejects this idea and leaves. Later on Neff is visited by Phyllis and Neff has nowhere to go and agrees to help Phyllis out since he know insurance and they plan to murder her husband and make it look like an accident, falling from a train so it triggers the double indemnity clause and double the payment. It’s interesting to see them set forth the plan and execute it.

After they go through with the plan Neff’s friend, Barton Keyes (Edward G. Robinson), an insurance adjuster doesn’t suspect foul play at first but it starts to bug him the pieces don’t fit together well, if the husband had insurance why didn’t he uses it after breaking his leg? This isn’t the only problem that Neff runs into as Phyllis’s step-daughter is suspicious about how her father died, and she suspects that Phyllis is behind it.

If you haven’t seen this film before go out and watch it as it is a great example of film noir and Billy Wilder considered this his favorite film. So if you’re interested in this type of film take a look at it.


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