🎦 Double Indemnity full movie HD download (Billy Wilder) - Crime, Drama, Thriller, Film-Noir. 🎬
Double Indemnity
Crime, Drama, Thriller, Film-Noir
IMDB rating:
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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Great DVD Treatment of One of Billy Wilder's Greatest Films!
The super deluxe 2-disc DVD edition of the 1944 film noir classic DOUBLE INDEMNITY (DI) rocks! Director/co-screenwriter Billy Wilder's flair with suspense and black humor works so perfectly with James M. Cain's novel about adulterous lovers plotting to murder the woman's husband and scam the man's insurance company, that it even improves on the book (which I read years ago).

The dark tone and scandalous subject matter freaked out Hollywood so much that it took 9 years to get DI from the printed page to the big screen. Fred MacMurray was the only leading man in Hollywood with the guts to take the role of insurance salesman-turned-murderer Walter Neff, though even MacMurray needed convincing at first. None of the other in-demand male stars of the period wanted Barbara Stanwyck's conniving, money-loving, hubby-offing temptress Phyllis Dietrichson to make a chump out of him on screen. Their loss! (I'd first seen MacMurray when I was a kid. Back then, he was best known to my generation as a Disney movie star and the lovable dad of TV's MY THREE SONS, so it was quite a revelation to me when I saw him playing underhanded types in DI, THE APARTMENT, and THE CAINE MUTINY. MacMurray had more range than he got credit for!)

MacMurray and Stanwyck are dynamite in this, one of the most gleefully, unapologetically black-hearted films noir ever made. Their dialogue, especially in the first half of the movie, contains many of my fave movie lines of all time (if I start quoting them all, I'll pretty much be transcribing most of the script). The chemistry between Stanwyck and MacMurray blazes like the Chicago Fire as the wily, spellbinding Phyllis draws Walter into her web. As Richard Schickel points out in one of the DVD's 2 excellent audio commentaries, Stanwyck's Phyllis is always reacting in the moment, so you never can tell whether she means a word she says, making her all the more fascinating. What cynical Sam Spade says to the equally slippery Brigid O'Shaughnessy in THE MALTESE FALCON could also apply to the quicksilver Phyllis: she's good, awful good!

Edward G. Robinson is DI's crabby yet kind-hearted Voice of Reason in his portrayal of Barton Keyes, the Pacific All-Risk Insurance Company's ace Claims Manager. As Keyes, Robinson is irresistible, with his zeal for detail, the "little man" in his gut giving him indigestion every time an insurance claim seems fishy, and his gruff affection for Walter. Heck, at times, there's more tenderness between Walter and Keyes than there is between Walter and Phyllis! :-) IMO, the biggest crime in DI was the failure to nominate either of the male leads for an Oscar, especially scene-stealing Robinson, though the Academy was smart enough not to overlook the mesmerizing Stanwyck. (For that matter, Robinson was never nominated for an Oscar for any of his superb performances. He was eventually given one of those special career Oscars, or as we like to call them, the "Yikes, He's So Old He Could Croak Any Minute and He Still Hasn't Gotten An Oscar? *D-OH!*" award. :-)

DI boasts plenty of wonderful character bits, too -- really, there isn't a bum performance in the bunch! Our household's DI faves include Fortunio Bonanova as Garlopis, whose phony claim Keyes chews to bits "like a slice of rare roast beef;" and Porter Hall as Jackson from Medford, Oregon, the jovial train traveler who innocently throws a wrench into the murder plot when he turns up on the train's Observation Car while Walter pretends to be Phyllis' injured, crutch-bound hubby. (Speaking of the crutches, is the opening credit sequence with the silhouetted, fedora'd figure on crutches one of the coolest credit sequences of all time, or what?). Any fans of THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD who might be reading this shouldn't blink when Walter lets Lola (Jean Heather) into his office at one point, or you'll miss Douglas Spencer (with hair!) as Walter's associate, Lou Schwartz, coming out at the same time.

If you love the movie (and why wouldn't you? :-), you'll go gaga over the nifty commentary tracks and extras. Among other things, we learn about the censorship issues in bringing Cain's juicy, lurid tales to the big screen. For example, there were several European film versions of THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE (including Luchino Visconti's OSSESSIONE, which works very well in its down-to-earth way and recently turned up on Turner Classic Movies) before Hollywood brought it to the big screen with John Garfield and Lana Turner in 1946. We're also told about how the different writing/working styles of Wilder and Raymond Chandler (who was hired to help adapt the story when Cain was under contract elsewhere and Wilder's then-collaborator Charles Brackett nixed the dark material) turned the experience into a collaboration made in hell. For the record, I wouldn't be surprised if Chandler was mostly to blame, since there are similar stories about him being just as tough to work with during Alfred Hitchcock's 1951 screen adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's STRANGERS ON A TRAIN. Hitch eventually brought in Ben Hecht's assistant Czenzi Ormonde to finish/polish the script when Chandler took a hike. Disc 2 contains the 1973 TV movie remake of DOUBLE INDEMNITY, which is worth watching if only to appreciate how much better the original is! This DVD set belongs in your collection!
A Noir Classic
Author James M. Cain virtually created a new genre with his extra-tough, sin-blackened, and sex-drenched novels--and they were so successful with the public that not even 1940s Hollywood could resist. The result was three of the most famous films of that decade: MILDRED PIERCE, THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE, and DOUBLE INDEMNITY. Although POSTMAN is probably the better film, INDEMNITY is the most famous--possibly due to the story's truly psychotic edge, which is given full life by Barbara Stanwyck in one of her most celebrated performances.

Like POSTMAN, INDEMNITY offers the story of a married woman who plots with her lover to murder her husband. Given MacMurray's typically "good guy" image, I didn't expect to believe him in the role of Walter Neff in the role of skirt-hungry Walter Neff--but MacMurray's performance is exceptionally good here, and all the more effective because it so completely unexpected. But while MacMurray has most of the screen time, it is really Stanwyck and Edward G. Robinson who dominate the film. Stanwyck is truly memorable here, and gives us a woman who seems at once sexed-up and completely frigid, at once completely natural and absolutely artificial. It is a remarkable and often disturbing effect. Robinson, who endured decades of type-casting, is equally good as the blustery, slightly comic, and absolutely honest insurance man whose job it is to ferret out suspicious claims; it is largely due to his performance, which gives the film a moral center, that we are able to buy into the otherwise off-beat performances that drive the action.

This was one of director Billy Wilder's first major hits, and he deserves considerable credit for making the weird elements of the story work as a whole, keeping the film smartly paced, and heaping it up with atmosphere. So influential that its impact would be difficult to over-estimate, DOUBLE INDEMNITY is a touchstone for the entire film noir genre. Recommended.

Gary F. Taylor, aka GFT, Amazon Reviewer
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.
A masterpiece of pure reverse existentialism ...
Directed by Billy Wilder in 1944, "Double Indemnity" set the standards of film-noir, inaugurated by Huston's "Maltese Falcon", a genre that captures the pessimism of post-war America and within which "Double Indemnity" is not only a masterpiece but also a reference, always imitated, but never equaled.

"Double Indemnity" is a tale of greed and lust, incarnated by one of the most controversial movie couples: the insurance salesman Walter Neff (with two 'F' like in Philadelphia) played by the handsome and everyday looking Fred McMurray, and the flirtatious housewife Phyllis Dietrichson, Barbara Stanwyck, both sensually dangerous and dangerously sensual. Together, they mastermind the perfect crime: killing Mr. Dietrichson and disguising it as an accidental jump from a train, to guarantee the 'double indemnity' in the life insurance, the clause that doubles the payoff for an unusual accident.

Based on a 1935 novel from James M. Cain, the story was inspired by the case of Ruth Snyder, the woman executed in Sing Sing prison in 1928 for a similar crime. But it couldn't make its way to Hollywood, the Hayes Code Cerberus judged the material too sordid as the way it glamorized crime would negatively influence younger viewers. But one decade later, Billy Wilder bought the rights granted his film would never convey the idea that crime pays. And to a certain extent, the Hays Code restrictions elevated the film by privileging the atmosphere, the relationships and the tension, instead of action, the subtlety of sexual innuendo and double entendre instead of explicit dialogs. The brilliant 'speed limit' exchange is one of its greatest illustrations.

Indeed, the film was voted #38 in AFI's Top 100 Thrillers, yet it opens with a wounded Neff coming to his workplace by night and talking to a Dictaphone. Neff addresses a confession to his colleague and friend Keyes (Edward G. Robinson): "I killed him … for money and for a woman", he adds: "I didn't get the money. And I didn't get the woman". We know who committed the murder and we know the plan failed. What's left for the suspense? Well, the point is that the story contemplates the motives of the characters, the feelings lying beneath their actions. Why a man like Neff would associate with a woman like Phyllis? This question is crucial because it sets the most important characteristics of the 'femme fatale' figure.

And Phyllis Dietrichson, #8 villain of AFI's Top 50, is the quintessential femme fatale: a cheap broad using her luscious charms to lure a man into deadly actions. Neff comes to her house, expecting her husband for a car insurance renewal. She appears at the top of the stairs holding a bath-towel around her torso, throwing lust and temptation at Neff's face. It's one of the most legendary screen character's entrances because it establishes the character's personality in one iconic shot. At the second meeting, she climbs down the stairs with an ankle-bracelet, high-heeled shoes, like a viper determined to attract Neff to her nest. Neff understands what she's into when she asks if he can buy a life insurance without telling her husband. He leaves the house, but it's too late, he's already obsessed.

"Double Indemnity" centers on Neff's tragic choices. Wilder makes it clear that the passion was consummated. But it's not love, not yet anyway: Phyllis hates her husband more than she loves Neff. Their passion rises below society's morality, and both despise its mediocrity. The Dietrichson's house is vast and luxurious, but the cinematographer used aluminum dust to create an impression of total carelessness. Phyliss is tired of her monotonous life, and Neff would probably love to break his routine. Why do they commit a crime together? In fact, it's because they found themselves together that they could do it. Phyliis catalyzed Neff's lowest instincts. She's indeed a great 'femme fatale' (also with two 'F') "Double Indemnity" is not about a crime, but human motives, not quite money, not quite lust but pure reverse existentialism.

And Robinson admirably carries the psychological aspect of the film as Barton Keyes, the claims adjuster capable of detecting the phony claims. He's a living encyclopedia when it comes to statistics and his 'little man' never failed him. Only a man like him could have tried to figure the motives with this scientific accuracy, not an average detective. Keyes has a fondness on Neff, and it's reciprocal, their exchanges are punctuated with the film's only running gag: Neff giving Keyes a providential match to light his cigar, he eventually retorts to an insult by a tender "Yeah, I love you, too". Yet, Neff fears that his demise might come from his friend, the iconic venetian blinds' shadow on Neff's face almost feel like prison bars. How Robinson and McMurray didn't get nominated is beyond me. The film lost all its Oscar nominations for "Going my Way", more feel-good and less cynical I guess.

But it's not a cynical film, it's about people tired of their own society's standards: marriage, fidelity, honesty, all hypocritical: Mr. Dietrichson hates his wife, his daughter Lola lies to him and people are just the lousy bunch of consumers. It's significant that Phyliss and Neff regularly meet in a supermarket, an 'un-film-noir' place illustrating the world they try to escape from, but can't because they're trapped and Neff knows it. And as Keyes predicts, it ends up in an exchange of bullets. Phyllis dies, and Neff, wounded, confesses. He couldn't escape his condition, he couldn't even escape from his office and reach the elevator, he collapses, agonizing in front of Keyes.

Keyes lights his last cigarette, the last as a free man, a deserved one. because if him and Phyllis were both villains, within his own confession, Neff found a bit of redemption.
Classic tale of double cross
Classic tale of double-cross and scheming is done to a nicety. Never mind the fact that the script is formulaic and predictable, and the characters are all selfish and self-serving. Just sit back and enjoy some great acting and smart direction.

Billy Wilder knew exactly how far to stretch this tale of an insurance salesman who fatefully falls for the femme fatale who would spell ruin for him. He knew the strengths and weaknesses, and he let it ride from there.

Fred MacMurray gleefully overplays his stereotype hero guy. He's got the smarts, the looks and he's almost got the dame. As said beauty, Barbara Stanwyck is a must, and few could do this sort of thing better. Cap all this with the dry, witty performance from Edward G. Robinson who lives and breathes insurance claims. He gets all the best lines and devours them.

In a nutshell you have here a must for any 40's film buffs.

Sunday, November 1, 1998 - Astor Theatre
Classic touchstone of film noir experience
In order to begin a story with the ending and still maintain suspense throughout the movie a film-maker needs to be quite sure of his skills to capture the attention of his audience. Director/writer Billy Wilder, assisted by established novelist Raymond Chandler with the screenplay, knows how to do it. He presents his film noir entirely in flashbacks, narrated in atmospheric voice-overs leading eventually to what we've already seen in the introduction. And despite the fact that we know where it's all heading we're still glued to our seats. New at the time and often copied ever since, but rarely done that well.

Central point is the mutual plan of an insurance rep and the wife of a rich husband to commit the perfect crime and literally get away with murder. Said salesman Walter Neff (Fred McMurray) not only commits the crime, but is also supposed to investigate it along with insurance inspector and friend Barton Keyes (Edward G. Robinson). Reluctantly but inevitably he stumbles into his own demise, which he is unfortunate to experience from either side of the law. What makes this dark existential dilemma so exciting is not so much what happens but how it is presented to the viewer and how the components fit together to form a supreme whole. Thanks primarily to an amazing script and aided by Wilder's flawless direction that leaves nothing to desire for a film noir devotee the film indeed lives up to the expectations of its promise and has since become an invaluable reference. Aside from McMurray and the terrific Robinson there's also Barbara Stanwyck playing the ensnaring femme fatale, and all of them deliver sharp dialog. Add to that high-contrast black and white cinematography, effective lighting, multiple Oscars winner Miklós Rózsa's score - all the best ingredients for a touchstone of film noir experience, complete with fatality drive. Classic.
This film is not a timeless epic, it has aged badly. One whom describes it as a must for film-noir fans is probably doing so for all the wrong reasons. Sure, it has a snappy dialogue, the dame is desirable, the hero both lovable due to his sentimentalism, and exciting due to his high intelligence, the narration is very well done. The acting is not, contrary to popular opinion, that good. The main characters were not so hot, the best piece of acting was actually the portrayal of Keys, his character was almost Holmes-esque. The plot is very generic. Of course, this film may well have been one of the first to carry out such a plot, it may have been a real trend-setter, but I'm sorry that doesn't make it a classic by any stretch of the imagination. Regardless of how it received and how influential it was, it is not a great in its own genre. I adore film-noir and found this a let down.
I Wonder if you Wonder
Greetings again from the darkness. "I wonder if you wonder." Every time I hear Walter Neff say those words to Phyllis Dietrichson as their initial encounter concludes, I smile and settle in for another round of Double Indemnity (1944) ... one of my all-time favorites. Though I have seen it many times over the years, I recently saw it for the first time on the big screen ... and from a 35mm print! So much of the subtle filmmaking becomes apparent - the variance of lighting, the intensity of shadows, and the vividness of close-ups. This reinforces my belief that we should never miss an opportunity to view good films in a theatre setting ... just as the director intended.

Since this film was released 67 years ago, it's difficult to discuss without noting a key plot point or character reaction. If you haven't seen it and plan to, you might stop reading here. If you would like a little insight, then let's keep going. Billy Wilder (left) directed the film and his place as a Hollywood legend is quite secure. He was nominated for 21 Oscars (Director, Writer, Producer) and had 3 wins. Some of his classics are: The Lost Weekend, Sunset Blvd, Witness for the Prosecution, Some Like it Hot, The Apartment, The Front Page. Many think of Wilder as a comedic filmmaker and he certainly had success in that genre, but if you watch closely, even his comedies have a dark element to them.

Double Indemnity is based on the novella by James M Cain, who also wrote Mildred Pierce and The Postman Always Rings Twice. Wilder was a fan of Cain's book, but knew the dialogue wouldn't work well on screen. So together with Raymond Chandler they wrote a screenplay filled with crackling lines and a constant feeling of dread and pending doom. As great as the script is, it is heightened by a wonderful cast that includes Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward G Robinson, Porter Hall, Jean Heather, Tom Powers, Richard Gaines and Byron Barr.

For me, MacMurray's performance is what brings the words to life and jumps the film to the "must see" category. He is playing against two Hollywood heavyweights in Stanwyck and Robinson, but we are somehow sympathetic to this not-so-bright guy who gets played like a fiddle by the villainous, wily woman he lusts after. Even as he is recording his confession, a part of us understands how he got drawn into MURDER! Not just any murder, but one for money and love ... only there is no money, and there is no love.

Ms. Stanwyck is perfectly cast as the femme fatale who weaves her web of deceit and destruction. She quickly spots the vulnerability of MacMurray's character and uses her assets just enough to hold the leash tight. It is a testament to her screen presence that she can pull off the sultry siren while sporting a less-than-desirable blonde wig. At the time, the wig was so controversial that the producers compared it to George Washington and wanted it trashed. However, filming was too far along and now it's impossible to imagine her looking any other way. Besides, MacMurray only seems to notice her anklet!

Edward G Robinson made a name for himself as a tough-guy actor ... cop and mobster all rolled into one. Here he plays the insurance investigator with a sixth-sense for fraudulent claims. He is a hard-nosed, dedicated employee who takes his responsibility very seriously and has no sympathy for those who cheat his cherished system. He has a soft spot for co-worker MacMurray, even though he is one of the back-slapping salesmen he so loathes. Their relationship in the film is one of respect and about as close as two professional men could be, given the era. When Robinson goes off on his rant about suicide research, he is a joy to behold. This guy could flat chew scenery.

In addition to the infamous wig, you might also notice that MacMurray is wearing a wedding band throughout the film, even though his character is clearly a single man. Wilder and MacMurray stated many times over the years that was simply a mistake and not "caught" until post-production. Expect a chuckle when MacMurray, as the narrator, enviously describes a Spanish style Los Angeles home as costing $30,000 ... probably less than the property taxes would be on that house today. The film originally was to end with MacMurray in the Gas Chamber and Robinson looking on (inset), but this was deemed inappropriate. One last little nugget: early in the film, MacMurray walks out of Robinson's office and past a man sitting on a hallway chair reading a paperback book. That man? Raymond Chandler, in his only on screen appearance.

The film is often described as quintessential Film Noir. Another prime example of Film Noir would be The Big Sleep (1946), based on a Raymond Chandler novel, directed by Howard Hawks, and starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. While Film Noir might not be an easily definable term, there are certain elements that must be present. Lighting is key. Shadows must be prevalent. Some type of detective story is usually at the center, and we typically get some poor schlub of a guy being yanked around by the femme fatale. The right "mood" is essential ... as a viewer we know things are headed down the wrong path, but we just can't save the characters from their own poor choices. But neither can we look away. That helpless feeling is a strong indicator that you just watched a terrific Film Noir.
A Superb Noir Film
If you are a noir fan then this film is an absolute must see. The screenplay itself is a work of art in its charater construction, plot structure and dialogue which is delievered by an ensemble of first class actors divying up first class performances. Barbra Stanwyck as the deadly, smouldering, scheming Phyllis Dietrichson turns in a performance that is right up there with Mary Astor's Brigid O'Shaughnessy. Fred McMurray delievers a performance of a smart but desperately lovelorn patsy and Edward G. Robinson is perfect in the role of Barton Keyes and just about steals the moment every time he appears on screen.

I personally love a good Noir film and this is right up there with the best of them. Billy Wilder should be proud of this work eventhough the Academy didn't see it fit to reward him for his efforts, however I personally think this film is an absolute winner.
"She was a tramp from a long line of tramps."
Film noir classic, directed by Billy Wilder, about an insurance salesman (Fred MacMurray) who falls for a married woman (Barbara Stanwyck). She uses him to help her get rid of her husband problem. It's a firecracker of a film that moves quickly, with hard-bitten characters and snappy dialogue brought to life by a great cast and a legendary director. Easily MacMurray's best role on the big screen. Wonderful supporting work from Edward G. Robinson. Stanwyck is terrific, as well, although selling her as the kind of woman a man could fall in lust with at first sight is one of the film's only flaws. Beautifully shot by John Seitz. The incredible score is courtesy of Miklós Rózsa. A lot of top talent worked on this. Nominated for seven Oscars, it took home zero. Which is a crying shame, especially with regard to the screenplay written by Billy Wilder and Raymond Chandler, adapted from a novel by James M. Cain. I like Going My Way as much as the next person but, come on now, this script has quite possibly the best dialogue in movie history. It's on my list of top ten favorite movies of all time so obviously I recommend it.
📹 Double Indemnity full movie HD download 1944 - Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward G. Robinson, Porter Hall, Jean Heather, Tom Powers, Byron Barr, Richard Gaines, Fortunio Bonanova, John Philliber, George Anderson, Al Bridge, Edward Hearn, Boyd Irwin, George Melford, William O'Leary, Lee Shumway - USA. 📀