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Double Indemnity (Sous-titres français)
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From the moment they met, it was murder. Unsuspecting Mr. Dietrichson becomes increasingly accident prone after his icily calculating wife encourages him to sign a double-indemnity policy proposed by a smooth talking insurance agent. Against a backdrop of distinctly Californian settings, the partners-in-crime plan the perfect murder to collect on the insurance. Perfect until a claims manager gets a familiar feeling of foul play and pursues the matter relentlessly. Tension soars as the would-be lovers find themselves plotting against each other.
Shadows of Suspense; Introduction by TCM host and film historian Robert Osborne; Audio Commentary with Film Historian Richard Schickel; Audio Commentary with Film Historian / Screenwriter Lem Dobbs and Film Historian Nick Redman; Double Indemnity (1973) TV Movie
Director Billy Wilder (Sunset Boulevard) and writer Raymond Chandler (The Big Sleep) adapted James M. Cain's hard-boiled novel into this wildly thrilling story of insurance man Walter Neff (Fred MacMurray), who schemes the perfect murder with the beautiful dame Phyllis Dietrichson (Barbara Stanwyck): kill Dietrichson's husband and make off with the insurance money. But, of course, in these plots things never quite go as planned, and Barton Keyes (Edward G. Robinson) is the wily insurance investigator who must sort things out. From the opening scene you know Neff is doomed, as the story is told in flashback; yet, to the film's credit, this doesn't diminish any of the tension of the movie. This early film noir flick is wonderfully campy by today's standards, and the dialogue is snappy ("I thought you were smarter than the rest, Walter. But I was wrong. You're not smarter, just a little taller"), filled with lots of "dame"s and "baby"s. Stanwyck is the ultimate femme fatale, and MacMurray, despite a career largely defined by roles as a softy (notably in the TV series My Three Sons and the movie The Shaggy Dog), is convincingly cast against type as the hapless, love-struck sap. --Jenny Brown --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Disc 1 - Double Indemnity - 1944, 108 mins, B&W, full screen 1.33:1, languages: English & Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono, subtitles: English SDH, Spanish & French, scene selection. Extras: Introduction By Robert Osborne (2:31), featurette - Shadows Of Suspense (37:56), 2 commentary tracks, theatrical trailer (2:15)
Disc 2 - Double Indemnity - 1973, 74 mins, colour, full screen 1.33:1, English Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono, subtitles: English SDH & French
Double Indemnity is no exception. Fred MacMurray stars as Walter Neff, a morally-compromised insurance salesman who just couldn't resist the opportunity to outsmart the insurance business, and he was never better. Most people remember him from more light-hearted fare, e.g., The Shaggy Dog (1959); The Absent-Minded Professor (1961); and perhaps especially The Egg and I (1947) with Claudette Colbert. Barbara Stanwyck, whose career spanned six decades, was also excellent as the sociopathic Phyllis Dietrickson. Edward G. Robinson, who practically defined the Hollywood gangster from the thirties and forties, switches type and does an outstanding job as Barton Keyes, a sleuthful insurance claims manager.
The script was adapted from James M. Cain's second novel, a follow-up to his enormously successful The Postman Always Rings Twice (1934). That too was made into a movie, in fact two movies, but neither one was anywhere near as good as this classic film noir. Wilder employs the convention of the voice-over (something he would use again very successfully in Sunset Boulevard) by having Walter Neff ("Walter Huff" in the novel) tell the story into a Dictaphone as a confessional memo addressed to his admired pal and mentor Keyes. He didn't get the girl and he didn't get the money, he says.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
This is a fabulous movie!
Barbara Stanwyck is perfect in the role of the (very) bad girl and Fred McMurray does a great job in the "good guy gone bad" role... Read more
Great movie. Loved the cat and mouse storyline at the end of the movie.Published 12 months ago by Maureen Bellamy
I've seen this movie a number of times over the years, and this DVD version was mostly okay, except for a couple of places where it conked out.Published 15 months ago by Dean Taylor
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