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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FORGET SIN CITY,THIS IS REAL FILM NOIR AT IT`S BEST!
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...
Published on 21 Aug. 2005 by Mr. E. A. Dobson

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not THAT good
I'm afraid that, despite its pedigree and high reputation, Double Indemnity still just doesn't grab me that much. Partially it's because the film simply isn't good enough to live up to its hallowed reputation, but largely because of the disastrous miscasting of Barbara Stanwyck, who simply doesn't sell as the kind of woman you'd kill for. Enter a dodgy real estate deal or...
Published on 23 Nov. 2007 by Trevor Willsmer


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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FORGET SIN CITY,THIS IS REAL FILM NOIR AT IT`S BEST!, 21 Aug. 2005
By 
Mr. E. A. Dobson "dwardstings" (West Yorkshire,United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Double Indemnity [DVD] (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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70 of 76 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The definitive and arguably the greatest film noir of all, 2 April 2006
By 
Jeff Markham (Walton-on-Thames, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Double Indemnity [DVD] (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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a noir masterpiece of seductive power, 23 Jan. 2015
By 
schumann_bg - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Double Indemnity [DVD] (DVD)
Double Indemnity is a dark film that grips the viewer like ebony around a screw. Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck make a fantastic noir duo, and the lines, particularly Stanwyck's, are delivered with a cool swagger and devastating sense of style. One of the things that makes it fascinating is the way you sense her to be something other than the role, yet by sheer skill she makes it fit like a kid glove. MacMurray is the perfect foil, being also distanced by the fact of narrating the film from a point where circumstances have obviously changed from what we see, and we know that he gets neither the money nor the girl more or less from the start. This doesn't make the distance covered any less absorbing in this tale of murder for the double insurance claim of the title. Billy Wilder's touch is evident in the intelligence of tone, also no doubt present because of Raymond Chandler whose reputation in this material is unparalleled (taken from a novella by James M. Cain), but it is probably Wilder who gives it a world-weariness that somehow cuts deeper than genre. He convinces you of the value of cinema as the ideal medium in which to reflect on the darker side of life with enough irony to leaven the effect. It is a beguiling picture of seamy morals and stooping low out of passion. Edward G. Robinson is also memorable, down-to-earth, and anchors the film, like a souped up mini gaining ground on a smooth-running Pontiac that simply can't get up the speed. His rumbling the truth in all but one vital detail is a bit like the later Stanwyck/MacMurray film, There's Always Tomorrow (made in 1956, 12 years after this one), where MacMurray's son stalks them with an equally partial view, to the point where he catches up with them ... But you also remember Stanwyck's hair with its rolled fringe both implausible and unnatural, glistening almost blondly in the evocative shadows and dim fabrics. For me she and MacMurray make a more appealing couple than the legendary Bogart/Bacall pairing, and the film is less labyrinthine, and closer to passion itself, than, say, The Big Sleep.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A film that sets the paradigm for classic `film noir', 30 July 2014
By 
Susman "Susman" (London Mills IL) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
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. It wasn't until Billy Wilder realised that he basically needed a `nice guy' for the role. Up until that picture, MacMurray had only played good affable characters, and he, rather like his co-star was worried about image. Edward G. Robinson as Barton Keyes seals the triangle of interaction and plays the insurance investigator who just won't give up digging for the truth and save the company a small fortune in a double-indemnity pay-out.

No matter how small your film tastes this is a film that is worth seeing
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best £5 you will ever spend, 27 Jan. 2013
By 
Mr Baz - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
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."
Walter Neff: "How fast was I going, officer?"
Phyllis: "I'd say around ninety."

Wonderful stuff and a pleasure to watch on screen! I first watched the film in my early teens and enjoyed in immensely, yet continue to watch it to this day. Whilst I know the story (of course), the smiles it raises are still there. This stands the test of time in a way few movies really do. I sincerely hope they never attempt to re-make this movie (it has been vaguely copied a few times) The word "Classic" is banded around all too often for films and this holds up to that label and then some more

Pure brilliance, and shows modern movie makers how to make a real movie. In terms of overall performance only the equally compelling 12 Angry Men (Henry Fonda/Sidney Lumet) can stack up to this (different films but both masterpieces in their own right)
One to put on at night with the rain beating down, the film grips you from start to finish in every respect. Essential viewing for any film fan this will still be watched 100 years from now.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not THAT good, 23 Nov. 2007
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
I'm afraid that, despite its pedigree and high reputation, Double Indemnity still just doesn't grab me that much. Partially it's because the film simply isn't good enough to live up to its hallowed reputation, but largely because of the disastrous miscasting of Barbara Stanwyck, who simply doesn't sell as the kind of woman you'd kill for. Enter a dodgy real estate deal or run confidence tricks with, sure, but she's just not the kind of gal to make a feller's privates jump up and do tricks until he's so desperate he'll kill her husband for her, and the trashy wardrobe and wig just makes her seem even less likely. She doesn't give a bad performance, but she's the wrong actress in the wrong movie. Fred McMurray isn't a perfect fit either as the easily corrupted insurance man behind the plan, but he at least is able to twist his image enough to more or less get away with it, even if at times it does feel like you're watching the local scout master and the church organist in a production of A Streetcar Named Desire... Edward G. Robinson fares better in a part that relies more on fast-talking statistics than especially good dialog (there are far fewer gems here than in probably any other Wilder film), but his character still feels more like a plot device than a person at times, only really delivering some genuine humanity in his last couple of scenes. Don't get me wrong, it's an okay film - just not in any way an outstanding one.

Unlike the US two-disc special edition, which includes audio commentaries, documentary, trailer and the 1973 TV movie remake, the UK DVD from Universal has no extras at all. Masters of Cinema's UK Blu-ray includes one of the commentaries, documentary and trailer alongside a half-hour radio adaptation and booklet.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing Blu-Ray, 9 July 2014
By 
H. Hopkins (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Eureka’s Blu-Ray of the best noir movie ever made, comes in a generous package with copious extras. However, contrary to other reviews, the quality of the print is way lacking in what I had hoped for, and most certainly not reference standard. Overall the quality varies alarmingly, bouncing from near perfect with good gradation and strong blacks, to some scenes severly inclined to muddy greys and very poor definition. This looks like a straight hi-def transfer from a well traveled print with little or no restoration to speak of. Universal’s standard DVD is still the best print out there, and infinately better to watch than this disappointing Blu-Ray. The story however, eclipses all technical woes and is as good today as its always been. Five stars for the story, only three for the Blu-Ray I'm afraid. Stick with the DVD until something better arrives.
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4.0 out of 5 stars distilled essence of film noir, 22 Aug. 2011
By 
rob crawford "Rob Crawford" (Balmette Talloires, France) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This film is the test of whether or not you love film noir. From the beginning, when Fred begins his confession as a wounded man in his office, you know that you are going to witness his descent from a successful if somewhat normal salesman into the realm of loser/criminal/dupe. The elements are all there: a quick payoff, a femme fatale, and his nagging feeling that there must be something more to life than his routine of peddling insurance policies to people who live in bigger houses than his measly apartment. It unwinds at an agonizing pace and is painful to watch, but fascinating and engaging all the same. For film buffs, there are many similarities in it to Body Heat.

THere are many original twists in this, in particular the wonderful character of Edward G. Robinson, an insurance investigator who has a "gut feeling" when something is a fraud that will cost the insurance company unjustly. He worries and paces, unravelling in his head the details of scams instead of having a life of his own. Fred is his friend and - as the guilty party in his own murder caper - plays a wonderful cat-and-mouse with Edward G. as he turns his attention to the case. I also loved the way the tension built between Stanwyck and Fred, as he comes to understand that their complicity links them for the rest of their lives. SLowly, Fred moves from loving her to fearing her to wanting to jettison her in any way he can. A single misstep and the whole thing cound unravel. Finally, there is the step daughter, who sows doubt but also is an apparent innocent. She is the most subtle character in the whole thing, I think.

Though I gravitated to scifi as a kid, I watched plenty of this crime stuff. It is very fun and allows one to step out of oneself for nearly 2 hours, a kind of reservoir of the way I saw the world through TV from the age of 7 or so. This is one of the best of the genre. Warmly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding "film noir" a cult classic and deserved, 11 Jun. 2014
By 
Mr Baz - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
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."
Walter Neff: "How fast was I going, officer?"
Phyllis: "I'd say around ninety."

Wonderful stuff and a pleasure to watch on screen! I first watched the film in my early teens and enjoyed in immensely, yet continue to watch it to this day. Whilst I know the story (of course), the smiles it raises are still there. This stands the test of time in a way few movies really do. I sincerely hope they never attempt to re-make this movie (it has been vaguely copied a few times) The word "Classic" is banded around all too often for films and this holds up to that label and then some more

Pure brilliance, and shows modern movie makers how to make a real movie. In terms of overall performance only the equally compelling 12 Angry Men (Henry Fonda/Sidney Lumet) can stack up to this (different films but both masterpieces in their own right)
One to put on at night with the rain beating down, the film grips you from start to finish in every respect. Essential viewing for any film fan this will still be watched 100 years from now.
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29 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Check Your Insurance Policy !, 13 July 2005
This review is from: Double Indemnity [DVD] (DVD)
At last , Billy Wilder's work is coming to region 2. This 1944 film noir sees Fred MacMurray playing insurance agent Walter Neff , who becomes involved with black widow - Phyllis Dietrichson (Barbara Stanwyck). Cue: double crossing, hard boiled dialogue , much match striking by human thumb and a scene stealing performance by Edward G Robinson as Barton T Keyes. This film just sizzles along and is not to be missed. Double Indemnity was oscar nominated for best picture and director. Unfortunately it lost out , however , Wilder would return the next year with The Lost Weekend which took best picture , director and actor (Ray Milland). When Billy Wilder died in 2002 the world lost a brillaint film director - thank fully his legacy lives on.
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Double Indemnity [DVD]
Double Indemnity [DVD] by Billy Wilder (DVD - 2005)
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