SYNOPSIS: "That's a honey of an anklet you're wearing, Mrs. Dietrichson." Double Indemnity
is the dazzling, quintessential film noir whose enormous popular success and seven Oscar nominations catapulted Billy Wilder (Some Like It Hot, Sunset Boulevard, The Apartment) into the very top tier of Hollywood's writer-directors. Adapted from a novella by James M. Cain (The Postman Always Rings Twice), co-written by Wilder and Raymond Chandler (The Big Sleep, The Long Goodbye), Double Indemnity
remains the hardest-boiled of delectations.
Insurance hawker Walter Neff (Fred MacMurray) gets seduced by some other man's wife: a bored, sex-starved Barbara Stanwyck done up in lorry-grille wig and a pair of lips like wine grapes smashed in candle-wax. She wants to off her better half and collect on his policy, but spitfire claims-adjuster Barton Keyes (Edward G. Robinson) smells a rat or at least the cheap perfume all over that Dietrichson file.
Neff himself ties up the twisting plot in a neat bow: "We were talking about automobile insurance, only you were thinking about murder. And I was thinking about that anklet." "Nominated for seven Oscars at the 1945 Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director (Billy Wilder), Best Actress (Barbara Stanwyck), Best Screenplay (Wilder and Raymond Chandler), Best Cinematography (John F. Seitz), Best Score (Miklós Rózsa), Best Sound Recording (Loren Ryder). The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present Billy Wilder's Double Indemnity for the first time anywhere in the world on Blu-ray, in a standard edition and a limited edition steelbook. SPECIAL BLU-RAY FEATURES:
- Exclusive new high-definition restoration, officially licensed from Universal Pictures
- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hearing-impaired
- 1950 Lux Radio Theater adaptation starring Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck
- The original theatrical trailer
- PLUS: A 36-page booklet featuring rare articles, images, and more!
"Since Double Indemnity
, the two most important words in motion pictures are 'Billy' and 'Wilder'." Alfred Hitchcock
is the finest picture of its kind ever made, and I make that flat statement without any fear of getting indigestion later from eating my words." Louella Parsons
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
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