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.Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Interestingly, of the 3 films where MacMurray played disreputable characters two were in films directed by Billy Wilder. (The third was The Caine Mutiny).When MacMurray hesitated to accept the part of the cheating executive Sheldrake in The Apartment, his experiences making this film played a part in persuading him that take that role. See more »
When Keys makes a quick list to his boss Norton of the different ways one can commit suicide, he mentions "suicide by poison" twice. See more »
Well, hello there, Mr. Neff.
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Opening credits are shown over a silhouette of a man on crutches, walking toward the camera. See more »
A film noir masterpiece that received no less than seven Oscar nominations
There were some superb thrillers coming out of Hollywood in the forties which did not rely on the private eye conventions but somehow the best of them were spread throughout by the same cynicism, the same realism, the same ruthless suspense
Best of all was Wilder's "Double Identity." It was based on a real-life assassination in New York in 1927, when a wife and her lover killed the husband for his insurance money
In the film, a near-breaking-point tension was reached and sustained in the passion of an insurance salesman and a passionately sensual femme fatale an intense desire for each other and for money; in the murder of the poor husband; and in their useless attempts to escape the ability of a fast-talking investigator
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