Double Indemnity (1944) – Encore Review


“Now look, Walter. A guy takes out an accident policy that’s worth $100,000 if he’s killed on the train. Then, two weeks later, he *is* killed on the train. And, not from the train accident, mind you, but falling off some silly observation car. You know what the mathematical probability of that is? One out of, oh, I don’t know how many billions. And after that, the broken leg. No, it just, it just can’t be the way it looks. Something has been worked on us!” – Barton Keyes

Number of Times Seen – Twice (20 Jan 2014 and 4 May 2020)

Link to original reviewHere

Brief Synopsis – An insurance broker falls in love with an heiress in a loveless marriage and together they plan the murder of her husband after raising the insurance payment upon his death.

My Take on it – Amazing noir thriller that works every time because it is written so well.

Billy Wilder wrote and directed this movie and it plays out so superbly.

The characters are developed really well and the story allows us to get a clear idea as to the various intentions of the characters as things unfold.

The plot is really clever especially given the fact that every one of the characters does all they can to try and outsmart the rest as things begin to unravel.

The cast is great and both Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck are superb in the lead roles.

Their chemistry is amazing and this enhances the story because they both constantly keep forgetting that they shouldn’t be trusting one another.

The scrip is amazingly written by Wilder and the dialogue is so crisp and fun to listen to the entire time.

The story is quite gripping and they find ways to keep things so suspenseful and thrilling throughout.

The film’s twists and turns are great to watch because they allow the story to constantly surprise as things play out in very unsuspecting ways.

Bottom Line – Amazing thriller that works so well. The characters are developed so well and we get clear ideas as to what their intentions are the whole way through. The plot is quite clever because every one of the characters does all they can to try and outsmart the rest. MacMurray and Stanwyck have superb chemistry together which adds so much to the story because it is so easy to forget that we shouldn’t trust any of them. Billy Wilder wrote an exquisite script filled with such great dialogue for these characters to use. The story itself plays out in such a gripping way because it is constantly filled with lots of suspense and tension from start to finish.  The twists and turns are great and help create so many surprises along the way. Highly Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – This film came out in 1944, the same year David O. Selznick released Since You Went Away (1944). Part of the campaign for the latter film were major ads that declared, “‘Since You Went Away’ are the four most important words in movies since ‘Gone With the Wind’!” which Selznick had also produced. Billy Wilder hated the ads and decided to counter by personally buying his own trade paper ads which read, “‘Double Indemnity’ are the two most important words in movies since ‘Broken Blossoms’!” referring to the 1919 D.W. Griffith classic. Selznick was not amused and even considered legal action against Wilder. Alfred Hitchcock (who had his own rocky relationship with Selznick) took out his own ads which read, “The two most important words in movies today are ‘Billy Wilder’!” (From IMDB)

Rating – Oscar Worthy (9/10) (no change from original review)

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One thought on “Double Indemnity (1944) – Encore Review

  1. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1944 | MovieRob

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