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on 17 November 2017
This is truly one of the first film noir’s to come out of Hollywood after the war, but this treasure came out in 1944. Still a crisp and tense tale of greedy people thinking they can get away with murder is timeless. Fred MacMurray... not the first choice or the most obvious, but he turns in the best performance of his entire career in this one. Much has been said about Barbara Stanwyck’s much hated cheap blonde wig but I saw it as a young man and thought nothing about it until I starting reading these things about it. Still doesn’t bother me at all. Edward G. is perfectly cast as the brainy hero-guy who is also MacMurray’s workaholic boss.
I must say I have grown to appreciate Billy Wilders films much more in the last few years with the release of his works being released on blu ray format. His witty/satirist writing still holds up decades later and should be studied by writing students. The cinematography is in glorious B&W and uses for the most part real L.A. locations which I have always found better anyway. I always hated that well-lit stage set look that early films seem to have.
This is a MUST for any serious film buff or even the average film goer who likes well crafted suspense. Includes a very good commentary.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 21 August 2016
This is one of the earlier films directed by the marvellous Billy Wilder and much, much 'darker' than his later, perhaps more popular/well known efforts such as 'Some Like It Hot' or the superb 'The Apartment'.

It is quite clearly of the film noire genre, made in a style which he maintained for his next movie ('The Lost Weekend') before 'lightening up' a tad with later productions such as 'Sunset Boulevard' and 'Stalag 17'.

Not having seen this film properly before, I got it on Blu-ray in a steelbook (sub-£10, I was lucky !) and, considering the age of the film stock, was impressed with the quality of the restoration.

If somehow this film has passed you by, the Amazon synopsis for it on this webpage describes things very well.

Being such a pure noire, the plot and way things happen is quite stark and cold and the ending (which is largely known due to the flashback nature of the presentation) is about as grim as could be for such an old film; overall, this film is quite a tough, unamusing, watch - even without any of the blood/gore etc we get nowadays.

For me, the blemish-free image has a good contrast and is pleasingly sharp; the DTS-HD MA mono soundtrack is also nice and clear but obviously not at all 'active'.

The disc extras are worthwhile and there is also a nice accompanying booklet - both features which are established Eureka ! / Masters of Cinema specialities; the steelbook is also very smart (despite the slightly inappropriate pink/rose colour scheme !), with artwork both inside and out.

I've attached photos of the steelbook exterior, interior and contents as Amazon don't properly show/omit them.

Aside from being able to get this in a cheaper 'normal' box, you might be interested to know that Universal have a quite recent US edition of this film on Blu-ray which is region-free, offers different extras and is available in 2 guises, here are the Amazon links (and a link to a comparison review with screencaps is in the Amazon discussion section for this Blu-ray; it's entitled 'Comparison Review with Screencaps' and dated 21 Aug 16).:

Double Indemnity [Blu-ray] [1944] [US Import]

Double Indemnity [Blu-ray] [1944] [US Import]

If the 'noire' genre is to your taste then this early example should be right up your street; if you already know of the film or like Billy Wilder productions then this Blu-ray is a good way to enjoy it !
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on 16 November 2017
Despite the noir genre not matching at first with the director of great comedies Billy Wilder (Some Like It Hot, Avanti!), it is indeed one of his best works. A crime story told in flashback, it tells a tale of insurance agent (Fred MacMurray cast wonderfullly against type, as he was in another Wilder classic, The Apartment) falling for a true femme fatale (Barbara Stanwyck at her innocently seductive best). Together they scheme a murder of her husband with the insurance with double indemnity clause as icing on the cake... Towering over most of noirs, the film is crisp in its storytelling and expertly paced, teeming with intelligent dialogues and seasoned with other interesting, albeit small characters, including Stanwyck's stepdaughter and her boyfriend. The role of his lifetime was, however, reserved here for Edward G. Robinson, another insurance agent on the heels of disclosing the wicked scheme. Going out in 1944, the film was nominated for seven Oscars and remains among the best noirs ever, alongside "Laura", "The Maltese Falcon" or later "Chinatown".
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on 25 April 2015
1940s CLASS ACT. A movie that springs from the classic period that gave us such dramatic gems as Casablanca, Citizen Kane, The Third Man etc. Movies which will live forever for they cannot be bettered. They stand together in a class head and shoulders above any 'modern' drama. This exceptional drama of the 'perfect murder' gone wrong (don't they always!) is mesmerising throughout. It SHOULD have got 1944s best movie Oscar, instead of the Bing Crosby movie.

If you cannot see yourself being enthralled by an old b & w movie GIVE IT A CHANCE - its a rewarding experience.
COLUMBO would have loved to tackle this case. It's a shame he did not get the chance. UNMISSABLE!

SUPERBLY presented on this Universal DVD, THANKFULLY retaining its original film format and NOT thoughtlessly cropped by 25% just to accommodate a 16:9 TV. It's a shame more 4:3 movies are not treated with the same respect.
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on 22 January 2016
great story telling of an age old theme and acceptable acting. Fred, on the face of it, is miscast - he's neither noir nor tough guy. Perhaps because of his very ordinariness, the role works out as the straight guy seduced. The same goes for Stanwyck, who is not the most obvious femme fatale, but she could act. As a result, whether by design or accident, the film conveys the reality of relatively ordinary mortals' infatuations and desires and the lengths they will go to satisfy them. You can read the same stories in certain newspapers on a regular basis.
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on 25 August 2017
Brilliant film with great dialogue that fits the films era. Fred MacMurray is excellent and Barbara Stanwyck makes a great femme fatale. If you haven't seen this one you have missed out badly. This is a must see film for any film buff.
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on 5 March 2018
No DVD Collection should be without this movie.
One of Hollywood best ever movies. Brilliant story with brilliant acting.
The webs we weave of lust, and deceit, are painfully exposed in this Hollywood Classic.
I never tire watching this excellent film. If you have never seen it, boy do you have a treat in store...enjoy!
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on 27 December 2008
Neff (Fred MacMurray) and Mrs Dietrichson (Barbara Stanwyck) devise a plot to murder Mr Dietrichson (Tom Powers) and pocket the life accident insurance money using a double indemnity claim, ie, the type of accident will pay out double as it is so unlikely. Things go smoothly until Walter's boss at the insurance company, Keyes (Edward G Robinson), gets involved and follows his hunch concerning foul play.

The main bulk of the story is told in flashback. There is tension, suspense, a good cast and many good scenes. A particular favourite of mine is when Neff is relaxing in his car drinking a pint of beer at the wheel - those were the days! The cast are good with Edward G Robinson and Barbara Stanwyck stealing the show. Stanwyck plays deception very well, eg, the scene where she is called to an interview after the death of her husband and more than holds her own when challenged about the circumstances. She also has a few things up her sleeve including a twist at the end. MacMurray is good in the lead role - it's a shame he was given some daft dialogue, though, which is surprising given that Billy Wilder did the writing. His use of the word "baby" at the end of almost every thing he says to Stanwyck is extremely cheesy. Maybe this was "hep" talk in those days but today it sounds crass and is laughable.

The film is a good length with twists that reveal themselves gradually throughout the film right until the end.
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on 27 January 2015
"Double Indemnity" tells the story of naive insurance salesman (Fred McMurray, in one of his rare serious roles) who falls for femme fatale Barbara Stanwyck, who persuades him to murder her husband, so that she can collect his life insurance (doubled if the death occurs on a train). This is classic film noir. Made in 1944 by the great director Billy Wilder, the film received seven Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture and Best Actress. To this reviewer's mind, however, the best performance comes from Edward G Robinson as McMurray's Insurance Claims Manager. Strongly recommended for those who like a good story, expertly told.
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on 15 December 2017
The social conventions are bizarre seen from a 21st century perspective and the 'all told in flashback' approach is a bit overdone but it's still a great film.
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