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Double Indemnity

USA 1944. Dir: Billy Wilder. 106 min. DCP


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Fred MacMurray, as gravely-wounded insurance salesman Walter Neff, staggers into a dark office, picks up a Dictaphone, and offers up a startling confession of murder. So begins Billy Wilder's sordid, superlative Double Indemnity, one of film noir’s defining works. Barbara Stanwyck sizzles as Phyllis Dietrichson, the double-crossing dame who seduces Neff into a plot to bump off her husband and collect big on his life-insurance policy. Edward G. Robinson co-stars as insurance investigator Keyes, Neff’s friend and colleague. Co-written by Wilder and Raymond Chandler, from James M. Cain’s novella, “this shrewd, tawdry thriller is one of the high points of 1940s films ... Stanwyck’s Phyllis Dietrichson is perhaps the best acted and most fixating of all the slutty, cold-blooded femmes fatales of film noir” (Pauline Kael).



"Double Indemnity is the season's nattiest, nastiest, most satisfying melodrama."

Time Magazine | full review

★★★★ "Few other directors have made so many films that were so taut, savvy, cynical and, in many different ways and tones, funny."

Roger Ebert | full review

"The cooling-system in the Paramount Theatre was supplemented yesterday by a screen attraction designed plainly to freeze the marrow in an audience's bones."

New York Times | full review

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