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Double Indemnity [DVD] [1944]

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Price: £3.60 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Fred Macmurry, Barabara Stanwyck
  • Directors: Billy Wilder
  • Format: PAL, Full Screen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: None
  • Dubbed: None
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: None
  • Audio Description: None
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Universal Pictures UK
  • DVD Release Date: 12 Feb 2007
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000MGB0RY
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,169 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Classic adaptation of James M. Cain's hardboiled noir novel by director Billy Wilder and writer Raymond Chandler. Insurance salesman Walter Neff (Fred MacMurray) calls at the house of femme fatale Phyllis Dietrichson (Barbara Stanwyck) in order to renew her husband's insurance policy. An immediate attraction sparks between the two, and gradually Phyllis seduces Walter into conspiring with her to murder her husband, now provided with a double indemnity insurance clause. The murder is carried out as planned, but the couple then find themselves growing increasingly suspicious of each other as they get closer to collecting the money. When Walter's boss, relentless investigator Barton Keyes (Edward G. Robinson), starts to look into the policy, Walter and Phyllis' steely resolve begins to falter.

From Amazon.co.uk

Director Billy Wilder (Sunset Boulevard) and writer Raymond Chandler (The Big Sleep) adapted James M. Cain's hard-boiled novel into this wildly thrilling story of insurance man Walter Neff (Fred MacMurray), who schemes the perfect murder with the beautiful dame Phyllis Dietrichson (Barbara Stanwyck: kill Dietrichson's husband and make off with the insurance money. But, of course, in these plots things never quite go as planned, and Barton Keyes (Edward G. Robinson) is the wily insurance investigator who must sort things out. From the opening scene you know Neff is doomed, as the story is told in flashback; yet, to the film's credit, this doesn't diminish any of the tension of the movie. This early film noir flick is wonderfully campy by today's standards, and the dialogue is snappy ("I thought you were smarter than the rest, Walter. But I was wrong. You're not smarter, just a little taller"), filled with lots of "dame"s and "baby"s. Stanwyck is the ultimate femme fatale, and MacMurray, despite a career largely defined by roles as a softy (notably in the TV series My Three Sons and the movie The Shaggy Dog), is convincingly cast against type as the hapless, love-struck sap. --Jenny Brown

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

69 of 74 people found the following review helpful By Jeff Markham on 2 April 2006
Format: DVD
Along with Tourneur's OUT OF THE PAST (1947), Billy Wilder's DOUBLE INDEMNITY is the definitive film noir, a masterpiece that rewards countless viewings and proved hugely influential. Virtually remade as BODY HEAT in 1981, and the inspiration for any number of sweaty, neo-noir pale imitations, this brilliant film remains the real deal and unsurpassed.
Wilder's fractious collaboration with the great Raymond Chandler produced a wonderful screenplay, dripping with sharp dialogue and fatalistic symbolism, whilst the performances of the three leads - FRED MacMURRAY, BARBARA STANWYCK and EDWARD G ROBINSON - are faultless and represent their finest screenwork. Stanwyck's marvellously cold, cyncial and manipulative femme fatale remains the template for all that followed and her tart as a lemon dialogue exchanges with MacMurray's bluff, self-confident Insurance Claims Investigator are amongst the greatest in any film.
To add to these elements JOHN F. SEITZ, one of film noir's finest cameramen, creates visual poetry from the sunlight streaming through Californian windows and shadows of forboding during the beautifully staged murder sequence.
Come to think of it, this isn't just one of the greatest film noirs ever made, it's simply one of the greatest films ever made, period. If you haven't seen it, buy it now, if you had it on VHS from a long ago TV screening, still buy it as this print is excellent and probably the best available, although there's a disappointing lack of extras on the DVD.
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40 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Mr. E. A. Dobson on 21 Aug 2005
Format: DVD
I`ve been waiting for this classic to be released ever since i bought a dvd player! Billy wilder has to be one of cinema`s finest director`s ever,it`s hard to pick his best work what with sunset boulevard,some like it hot & ace in the hole (hopefully the next in line for a dvd release) among others but if someone put a gun to my head i`d have to say double indemnity.Being a big fan of old movies & in particular film noir this one is simply perfect,great script(co-scripted by Raymond chandler himself),superb acting from the three leads & great cinematography.If your into old movies & film noir trust me you need to see this,even if there are no extras.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 30 July 2014
Format: Blu-ray
A film based on book by James M. Cain's 1943 novelette of the same name. The book was loosely based on real life events in Queens New York in the 1920s. A crime that was perpetrated by an Ms Ruth Snyder, who cajoled her reluctant boyfriend, Judd Gray, to kill her husband Albert after having him take out a big insurance policy - with a double-indemnity clause. They were both eventually found out and put on the electric chair.

Billy Wilder and Raymond Chandler as screenwriters and Wilder as director took their vision from the page to the screen. The cinematography of John F. Seitz is truly his `signature statement' in this film, with his background from the days of silent film, and film making roots in 1920s Berlin. His studied arrangement of light and shadows especially the use of "venetian blind" lighting, with the Walter Neff character would become a staple of the film noir look.

A film that has been much studied and analysed, and the stock-in-trade piece of any decent film course. That said, this film tells an engrossing narrative that was shaped, in part, by the confines of its time and by the Motion Picture Production Code. A code better known as the Hay's Code that were a set of industry moral censorship guidelines that governed the production of most United States motion pictures from the 1930s through to the 1960s. Then of course there are the three principle actors whose chemistry and interaction also made the film the classic that is. From the get go the role of Phyllis Dietrichson was Barbara Stanwyck - although hesitant at first, her appearance and acting gave the film it's sultry femme fatale who is able to bend Neff's character to her will. Fred MacMurray as Walter Neff was not the first choice for role by mile.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mr Baz #1 REVIEWER#1 HALL OF FAME on 27 Jan 2013
Format: DVD
There are many good reviews around for this film so I won't try to do any plot spoilers or go too in depth if you have not seen this film.
Only to say that, even to this day Double Indemnity is a shining light of a motion picture.

It's also a firm slap in the face for modern Hollywood productions that value CGI and effects over a damn good story/plot, and a superb cast. From the solid direction from Billy Wilder, the excellent moody cinematography from John F. Seitz, solid film score too, Fred MacMurray as the calm and sensible (but bored) Walter Neff, Barbara Stanwyck as the seductress, and a brilliant Edward G. Robinson as the moody tough boss to Walter. It fits together beautifully in every respect the entire production crew and cast are simply superb in this production.

Of course none of this would matter if the story was pedestrian and uninteresting. Far from it the plot is one of the best around and completely engaging from start to finish. MacMurray's running commentary is superbly downbeat and reflective, adding hugely to the dark feel of the film and building tension. This is a PG film, there are no gimmicks or blood baths/gore, just a wonderful "real production" with talent oozing out of every corner of the film, and a great must watch plot.

Some wonderful witty lines in this film, they might seem corny to read but fit in perfectly with the film

Walter Neff: "Yes, I killed him. I killed him for money - and a woman - and I didn't get the money and I didn't get the woman. Pretty, isn't it?"

Walter Neff: "Yeah, I was, but I'm sort of getting over the idea, if you know what I mean"
Phyllis: "There's a speed limit in this state, Mr. Neff. Forty-five miles an hour.
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