Double Indemnity (1944)

Double Indemnity



Critic Consensus: A dark, tautly constructed adaptation of James M. Cain's novel -- penned by Billy Wilder and Raymond Chandler -- Double Indemnity continues to set the standard for the best in Hollywood film noir.

Movie Info

Directed by Billy Wilder and adapted from a James M. Cain novel by Wilder and Raymond Chandler, Double Indemnity represents the high-water mark of 1940s film noir urban crime dramas in which a greedy, weak man is seduced and trapped by a cold, evil woman amidst the dark shadows and Expressionist lighting of modern cities. Phyllis Dietrichson (Barbara Stanwyck) seduces insurance agent Walter Neff (Fred MacMurray) into murdering her husband to collect his accident policy. The murder goes as … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Raymond Chandler, Billy Wilder
In Theaters:
On DVD: Oct 10, 2000
Paramount Pictures


as Phyllis Dietrichson

as Mr. Jackson

as Mr. Dietrichson

as Mr. Norton

as Nino Zachette

as Execution Chamber Gu...

as Norton's Secretary

as Redcap

as Pullman Porter

as Fortunio Bonanova

as Nettie, the Maid

as Train Conductor

as Pullman Porter

as Pullman Porter

as Pacific All-Risk Tel...

as Garage Attendant

as Pacific All-Risk Tel...

as Black Man

as Keyes' Secretary

as Warden's Secretary

as Door Guard

as First Doctor

as Pullman Conductor

as Second Doctor

as Pullman Porter

as Execution Chamber Gu...

as Man (uncredited)

as Lou Schwartz

as Nino Zachette
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Double Indemnity

Friend Ratings

No Friends? Inconceivable! Log in to see what your friends have to say.


Critic Reviews for Double Indemnity

All Critics (54) | Top Critics (8)

This expert night of the Hollywood soul is such a genre axiom it practically scans like a mid-'40s shopper's catalogue for noiristes ...

Full Review… | July 29, 2014
Village Voice
Top Critic

Double Indemnity is the season's nattiest, nastiest, most satisfying melodrama.

Full Review… | March 7, 2014
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

Wilder trades Cain's sun-rot imagery for conventional film noir stylings, but the atmosphere of sexual entrapment survives.

Full Review… | February 11, 2008
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

MacMurray has seldom given a better performance. It is somewhat different from his usually light roles, but is always plausible and played with considerable restraint.

Full Review… | August 14, 2007
Top Critic

The film is a brilliant collision of evil and the mundane, and one of the reasons viewers respond to it so well is that it makes the mundane seem a little sexier in the resulting debris.

September 23, 2006
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

Variations and tributes can't blunt the sting of Wilder's acidic noir benchmark

Full Review… | July 14, 2015

Audience Reviews for Double Indemnity


Thrilling and suspenseful, Double Indemnity is a complex classic that deserves to be seen and praised by all movie-goers. You won't be able to keep your eyes off the screen.

Matthew Samuel Mirliani
Matthew Samuel Mirliani

Super Reviewer


One of the most indisputable definers of noir, a classic film with a fantastic direction and cinematography, a deliciously acid dialogue, some amazing performances and a diabolical plot that is breathtakingly tense and suspenseful.

Carlos Magalh„es

Super Reviewer


"Double Indemnity" is a marvelously crafted noir film that is purely driven by its impeccable narrative and flawless filmmaking techniques. Billy Wilder, Howard Hawks, John Ford, Alfred Hitchcock; all renowned people within cinema history, but were unknown in my book. Little did I care to learn about these filmmakers, nor did I care to see their work because it was too "old school" for me. Boy, am I glad to have seen this film.

James M. Cain, the author of "The Postman Always Rings Twice" which is the source material for the narrative, is beautifully translated from book to film by Billy Wilder's deft hands. The narrative's where all the glory is at: it flows like liquid gold with tensely interesting twists and turns from start to finish; no hiccups found here. And what's found within the storytelling is one of the most highly engaging and innovative crime thrillers to date. Though "Double Indemnity" is already regarded as an exceedingly entertaining film due to the narrative, the film surpasses further due to flawless directing. The noir elements audiences have come to know are present, but with spotless results. The style "Double Indemnity" takes to deliver crisp, sharp-edged shadows, the breathtakingly distinct shots, and the narrative told by flashback are nothing short of astonishing.

Merely, everything about "Double Indemnity" is perfect. Billy Wilder managed to craft a masterpiece that remains fresh even to the 21st century. Nothing short of cutting-edge, "Double Indemnity" is brimming with an atmosphere of a cool, cold cockeyed-ness style -- a film that will not be forgotten for decades to come.

Albert Kim
Albert Kim

Super Reviewer

Double Indemnity Quotes

– Submitted by Sina T (12 months ago)
– Submitted by Sina T (12 months ago)
– Submitted by Sina T (12 months ago)
– Submitted by Joakim A (2 years ago)

Discussion Forum

Discuss Double Indemnity on our Movie forum!