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Double Indemnity Movie Poster
Plot, Details & Awards

Double Indemnity

(1944)
Not Yet Rated In Theaters 04/24/1944 , 107min.
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Plot & Details

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 plan is further complicated when Neff's boss Barton Keyes (Edward G. Robinson), a brilliant insurance investigator, takes over the investigation. Told in flashbacks from Neff's perspective, the film moves with ruthless determinism as each character meets what seems to be a preordained fate. Movie veterans Stanwyck, MacMurray, and Robinson give some of their best performances, and Wilder's cynical sensibility finds a perfect match in the story's unsentimental perspective, heightened by John Seitz's hard-edged cinematography. Double Indemnity ranks with the classics of mainstream Hollywood movie-making.

Awards

Academy Awards

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1944 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Director Billy Wilder Nominated
1944 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Picture Nominated
1944 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Score - Drama or Comedy Miklos Rozsa Nominated
1944 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Black and White Cinematography John F. Seitz Nominated
1944 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Screenplay Raymond Chandler Nominated
1944 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Screenplay Billy Wilder Nominated
1944 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Actress Barbara Stanwyck Nominated
1944 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Sound Loren L. Ryder Nominated

American Film Institute

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1998 American Film Institute 100 Greatest American Movies Won

Library of Congress

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1991 Library of Congress U.S. National Film Registry Won

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