Double Indemnity

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Product Overview

A salesman and a blonde kill her husband and get away with it until the insurance investigator becomes obsessed with the case.


Studio Universal Home Video
SKU 202575262
UPC 025192907821
UPC 14 00025192907821
Format DVD
Release Date 8/22/2006
Rating NR
Essential Cinema
Film Noir
Theatrical Release
Editors Note
Note 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.
USA Today "...INDEMNITY has all the classic elements..." 01/26/1994 p.5D
Premiere "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 p.5
Sight and Sound "[O]ne of the most memorable thrillers in Hollywood history." 06/01/2005 p.82
Uncut "Barbara Stanwyck as Phyllis was the greatest of the hardboiled noir temptresses." 08/01/2005 p.134,Ranked #3 in Uncut's Best DVDs Of 2005 -- "The ultimate sex-greed-death classic." 01/01/2006 p.84-85
Entertainment Weekly "Stanwyck cracks wise...while dripping pheromones." -- Grade: A 09/01/2006 p.57
New York Times "DOUBLE INDEMNITY belongs to the early stages of American film noir....[With] a gallery of great character actors..." 08/22/2006 p.E6
Rolling Stone "Film noir doesn't get more classic than Billy Wilder's 1944 tale of greed and lust." 11/30/2006 p.100
Billy Wilder
Barbara Stanwyck
Fred MacMurray
Edward G. Robinson
Cast & Crew
Barbara Stanwyck - Actor
Billy Wilder - Director
Buddy G. DeSylva - Executive Producer
Doane Harrison - Editor
Edward G. Robinson - Actor
Fred MacMurray - Actor
John F. Seitz - Cinematographer
Miklos Rozsa, et. al. - Original Music By
Porter Hall - Actor
Raymond Chandler, et. al. - Screenplay
Technical Info
Original Release Date 1944
Catalog ID 29078
UPC 00025192907821
Number of Discs 2
Running Time 107 minutes
Color B&W
Original Language English
Available Subtitles English, French, Spanish
Available Audio Tracks English, Spanish Dubbed
Aspect Ratio
Standard  1.33:1 [4:3]
Nominee (1945) Oscar, Barbara Stanwyck , Best Actress in a Leading Role,Oscar, Billy Wilder , Best Director,Oscar, Joseph Sistrom, Best Picture,Oscar, John F. Seitz, Best Cinematography, Black-and-White,Oscar, Miklos Rozsa, Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture,Oscar, Raymond Chandler, Billy Wilder, Best Writing, Screenplay
ReviewSource Chicago Sun-Times
Review "Double Indemnity'' has one of the most familiar noir themes: The hero is not a criminal, but a weak man who is tempted and succumbs. In this "double'' story, the woman and man tempt one another; neither would have acted alone...Few other directors have made so many films that were so taut, savvy, cynical and, in many different ways and tones, funny. After a start as a screenwriter, his directorial credits include "The Lost Weekend,'' "Sunset Boulevard,'' "Stalag 17,'' "Sabrina,'' "The Seven Year Itch,'' "Witness for the Prosecution,'' "Some Like It Hot,'' "The Apartment'' and "The Fortune Cookie.'' I don't like lists but I can't stop typing.
Reviewer Roger Ebert
ReviewRating 10
Review For all the talk about the genre, only three films truly define film noir: The Big Sleep, The Maltese Falcon and Double Indemnity. While the former two are unquestionably classics, the latter is oh so much more fun...Director Billy Wilder choreographs the movie beautifully. The actors, the lighting, the cinematography, the sets - and, above all, the dialogue - are woven in an intricate pattern that echoes whichever side of the story ("It must be" vs. "It can't be") Wilder wants the audience to believe at the moment. Did we mention the magnificent lighting?
Reviewer Sarah Chauncey
ReviewRating 10
DVD, Special Edition, Aspect Ratio 1.33:1, No Longer Produced
Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews A splendidly chilling noir tale...
Forrest Hartman, Reno Gazette-Journal A landmark of film noir. Absolutely wonderful.
MaryAnn Johanson, The Flick Filosopher Criminally fun.

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