Double Indemnity
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Double Indemnity
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 planned, but after the couple's passion cools, each becomes suspicious of the other's motives. The… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Double Indemnity is the season's nattiest, nastiest, most satisfying melodrama."
‑ , TIME Magazine
"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."
‑ Douglas Pratt, Hollywood Reporter
"The quintessential film noir -- acid and snappy, and shockingly cold-blooded."
‑ John Beifuss, Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
"This classic thriller from director Billy Wilder is one of the best-loved examples of film noir ever made."
‑ Tony Sloman, Radio Times
"The perfect material for Wilder to remake himself as Hollywood's dark jester for decades."
‑ Rob Gonsalves,
"Wilder trades Cain's sun-rot imagery for conventional film noir stylings, but the atmosphere of sexual entrapment survives."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"This is the gold standard of '40s noir, straight down the line."
‑ Jessica Winter, Time Out
"Quite possibly the most perfect example of film noir to emerge from Hollywood during that genre's reign."
‑ Matt Brunson, Creative Loafing
"The picture never fully takes hold of its opportunities, such as they are, perhaps because those opportunities are appreciated chiefly as surfaces and atmospheres and as very tellable trash."
‑ James Agee, The Nation
"Edward G. Robinson stars as MacMurray's associate, but it's Barbara Stanwyck that rules the roost as one of cinema's most diabolical femme fatals."
‑ Cole Smithey,
"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."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"Such folks as delight in murder stories for their academic elegance alone should find this one steadily diverting, despite its monotonous pace and length."
‑ Bosley Crowther, New York Times
"Even though you already know it isn't going to end well, it's suffused with a clammy-handed anxiety that belies its age. The dialogue, too, is classic Wilder -- almost poetic in its snappy, purple lyricism."
‑ Dan Geary, Total Film
"Dark, dialogue-heavy classic of grim suspense."
‑ Charles Cassady, Common Sense Media
"Writer/director Billy Wilder cements all the hallmarks of a style that comes into its own with this wicked and suspenseful portrait of capitalist greed and post-war anxiety."
‑ Radheyan Simonpillai,
More reviews for Double Indemnity on Rotten Tomatoes

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