Double Indemnity (1944)

Another ‘film noir’ to add to the list: Double Indemnity (1944).

This one was directed by Billy Wilder, on which he wrote the screenplay together with Raymond Chandler. This was an adaptation of the novel by James M. Cain (so no, not a Chandler novel).

It stars Fred MacMurray as Walter Neff, Barbara Stanwyck as Phyllis Dietrichsen and Edward G. Robinson (cream of a actor) as Keyes.


Insurance salesman Walter Neff, is seen returning to the offices of All-Risk Insurances, seemingly wounded, sits at a desk and starts dictating a confession into a Dictaphone to Keyes.
He confesses how he murdered for a woman (Stanwyck), helping her to plan an accidental death on her husband to claim the insurance. But Keyes, insurance investigation at All-Risk, in charge to pick out the phony claims from the real ones, senses that the accidental death doesn’t seem so accidental after some closer investigating.


What an enjoyable movie! A good pace to the storytelling and damn good actors. Edward G. Robinson is, as I said, a cream of an actor. I liked him in Key Largo as well, FYI Faberadatch-link-KeyLargo. The voice over by the lead character, Neff, is not bothering. Especially because it is not just a voice over to the audience, it is Neff confessing into the Dictaphone to Keyes, so it is interesting to hear him explain how he did it and what he thought at the time.

An excerpt:

I chose one where Edward G. Robinson takes the lead. I like this one a lot. It shows how tenacious he is as an insurance investigator, how witty he is and why he would sense there is something not right in the Dietrichson-claim.


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