USA Today - 01/26/1994
"...INDEMNITY has all the classic elements..."
Premiere - 12/01/2003
"The noir formula takes a giant step forward: a domineering femme fatale; a dark, Expressionist visual style; and a violent, unhappy ending..."
Sight and Sound - 06/01/2005
"[O]ne of the most memorable thrillers in Hollywood history."
Uncut - 08/01/2005
"Barbara Stanwyck as Phyllis was the greatest of the hardboiled noir temptresses."
Uncut - 01/01/2006 Ranked #3 in Uncut's Best DVDs Of 2005 -- "The ultimate sex-greed-death classic."
Entertainment Weekly - 09/01/2006
"Stanwyck cracks wise...while dripping pheromones." -- Grade: A
New York Times - 08/22/2006
"DOUBLE INDEMNITY belongs to the early stages of American film noir....[With] a gallery of great character actors..."
Rolling Stone - 11/30/2006
"Film noir doesn't get more classic than Billy Wilder's 1944 tale of greed and lust."
Total Film - 06/01/2012 5 stars out of 5 -- "[I]ts seamless pressure-cooker construction -- Wilder considered it his greatest film -- allows the temperature to ratchet slowly to boiling point."
Sight and Sound - 07/01/2012
"[T]he cornerstone of film noir....What would become well-worn tropes in countless imitators are found here in irreducible freshness."
Billy Wilder's classic noir, a familiar brew of lust, larceny, and lethal intentions, stars Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck as a hot-blooded couple. Framed in flashback, the story is told by the dying Walter Neff (MacMurray), beginning with his first meeting with the seductive Phyllis Dietrichson (Stanwyck) during a routine renewal of her husband's car insurance. After some flirtation she arranges a meeting without her husband, where she asks about an accident policy to be bought without her husband's knowledge. Although repulsed by the implications of her suggestions, his obsession with Phyllis leads Neff to contemplate the possibility of finding a way to kill her husband while making his death look like an accident. After she comes to his apartment, the insurance salesman finally agrees to become involved in the murder, and the two of them begin methodically working out the details. After they dispose of Dietrichson, Neff learns more than he wanted about Phyllis' unsavory past, but realizes he's now too involved to extricate himself. He's also concerned about his a boss, Barton Keyes (Edward G. Robinson), an omniscient insurance investigator who has taken over the case. DOUBLE INDEMNITY is brilliant noir, among the best of the genre, with a byzantine yet utterly plausible plot, stylized hard-boiled dialogue by Wilder and Raymond Chandler, and three terrific performances by Stanwyck, MacMurray, and Robinson.
DOUBLE INDEMNITY was added to the Library of Congress National Film Registry in 1992.
Other films written by novelist Raymond Chandler include AND NOW TOMORROW; THE BLUE DAHLIA, from his own story; and THE UNSEEN.
The story of DOUBLE INDEMNITY was inspired by the notorious Snyder-Gray murder that took place in Queens Village, New York, in the 1920s. Albert Snyder was bludgeoned to death by his wife, Ruth, and her lover, Judd Gray, in order to collect his insurance money.
Woody Allen considers this to be the greatest movie ever made.
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