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8,472 Ratings

Double Indemnity

Directed by Billy Wilder
United States, 1944
Thriller, Crime, Film noir


Insurance salesman Walter Neff and Phyllis Dietrichson, the unhappy wife of a wealthy oilman, start a dangerous, illicit love affair and hatch the perfect scheme to murder Phyllis’ husband and collect the insurance money.

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Double Indemnity Directed by Billy Wilder

Awards & Festivals

Academy Awards

1945 | 7 nominations including: Best Picture

New York Film Critics Circle Awards

1944 | 2 runner-up prizes including: Best Actress

National Film Preservation Board

1992 | Winner: National Film Registry

It achieves what all great art aspires to do—it creates a universe of its own. Is such a universe naturalistic? To some extent, I suppose, although that is not the point. Rather, what’s evoked is a moral landscape, in which we slip between stark polarities: identifying with the characters, their longing and their damage, while also recognizing their downfall, its inevitability, as a cautionary tale.
December 28, 2016
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The “walk of a dead man” (“I couldn’t hear my own footsteps”) points to Sunset Blvd., the nettlesome blabbermouth on the train’s observation deck is a feint taken up by Robbe-Grillet. “Do I laugh now or wait ’til it gets funny?” Variations and tributes left and right (Cronaca di un Amore, The Prowler, Body Heat, The Man Who Wasn’t There) can’t blunt the sting of Wilder’s acidic noir benchmark.
July 20, 2015
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Wilder’s astute direction of the crooked lovers amidst darkness and asphalt echoes is a film phenomenon that will reign supreme for decades to come.
July 30, 2014
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