Double Indemnity (1944)


How could I have known that murder could sometimes smell like honeysuckle?

— Walter Neff

On the suggestion of my film blogger, Chazz Lyons from Gone Cinema Poaching, I watched Double Indemnity last night.

Nominated for seven Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director for Billy Wilder and Best Actress for Barbara Stanwyck. It is currently #47 on the Top 250 Films of All Time on IMDb. It deserves to be there.

Based on the novel, “Double Indemnity in Three of a Kind” by James M. Cain; director Billy Wilder and co-screenwriter Raymond Chandler sends the viewer a wild rise in the late 1930s Los Angeles.

Walter Neff (Fred MacMurray) is an insurance salesman that is infatuated with a beautiful married femme fatale, Phyllis Dietrichson (Barbara Stanwyck). Walter comes by the Dietrichson residence to follow up on some paperwork that the husband, Mr. Dietrichson (Tom Powers).

Over subsequent visits, Phyllis tells Walter about the mistreatment that her husband does toward her. They decide to bump off the husband so they could get the money for the life insurance policy.

After the deed has been done, Walter’s coworker, Barton Keyes (Edward G. Robinson) begins to find cracks in seemingly perfect murder.

I loved every aspect of this movie. The rapid fire dialogue caught me off guard, but I got into it quickly. The acting across the board was fantastic. The score was intense.

Judgment: A masterful thrill ride with excellent dialogue, suspense and great performances. A must see!

Rating: *****

About Branden

Branden: I am just your average movie nut that reviews films. Gives his take on pop culture and Hollywood happenings. Dreams to have his own thriving website and make a living doing what he is passionate about.

Posted on July 14, 2009, in 1944, Academy Award Nominee, Action, Crime, Drama, Film Noir, Running Feature, Thriller, Top 250 of All Time on IMDB and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Thanks for another great review! Yes, this is one of Billy Wilder’s masterpieces…and that is saying plenty. I hold this in the same esteem as SUNSET BOULEVARD and SOME LIKE IT HOT. Of course, the list of his great films goes on and on…

    • I haven’t seen Sunset Blvd in LONG time. I need to revisit it soon. I have not seen Some Like It Hot yet. It was on Hulu for a while. It’s not there anymore. I need to check that out.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: