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Double Indemnity

  • Crime/detective
  • Drama
  • 1944
  • Billy Wilder
  • 103 mins
  • PG

Summary

Classic film noir, starring Barbara Stanwyck, Fred MacMurray and Edward G Robinson. "I killed him for money, and for a woman." A dying man records his murder confession before time runs out.

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Review

A star rating of 5 out of 5.

This classic thriller from director Billy Wilder is one of the best-loved examples of film noir ever made. Based on a short story by James M Cain (author of The Postman Always Rings Twice), and with a crackling screenplay co-written by Raymond Chandler, it follows definitive femme fatale Barbara Stanwyck as she seduces insurance salesman Fred MacMurray into doing away with her husband to claim his life insurance. But dogged claims investigator Edward G Robinson smells a rat. Wilder keeps the sexual tension tight and displays a mastery of visualisation on key plot points. Some may find Stanwyck less sexy than her character should be, but that's a minor quibble when the dialogue's as good as this: "I loved you and I hated him, but I didn't do anything about it 'til you came along." Wilder was nominated for an Oscar, as was John F Seitz's cinematography and Miklos Rozsa's atmospheric score. In the best actress category, Stanwyck lost out to Ingrid Bergman for Gaslight.

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Credits

Cast

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Walter NeffFred MacMurray
Phyllis DietrichsonBarbara Stanwyck
Barton KeyesEdward G Robinson
Mr JacksonPorter Hall
Lola DietrichsonJean Heather
Mr DietrichsonTom Powers
Nino ZachetteByron Barr
Mr NortonRichard Gaines
Sam GorlopisFortunio Bonanova
Joe PeteJohn Philliber
SecretaryBess Flowers

Crew

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DirectorBilly Wilder

Details

Theatrical distributor
BFI
Released on
2005-11-11
Languages
English
Guidance
Some violence.
Available on
DVD and Blu-ray
Formats
Black and white
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