thedude-abides

Double Indemnity Review

“How Could I Have Known That Murder Could Sometimes Smell Like Honeysuckle?”

January 30th, 2011

Walter Neff is an insurance salesman who earns his living traveling door to door. One fateful afternoon he happens by the house of the beautiful Phyllis Dietrichson, whose husband is, as usual, away on business. It's truly infatuation at first site for Walter and Mrs. Dietrichson, both of whom are clearly smitten for one another from the onset. She invites Walter in for a drink.

Once inside, he gives Mrs. Dietrichson his usual sales pitch, but she's not going for it. Then, knowing her husband ins't around, Walter tries to sell Mrs. Dietrichson a little something on the down low...and this time I'm not talkin' about insurance. Unfortunately for Walter, she's not going for that either, and he is told to come back later in the week to speak with Mr. Dietrichson regarding the insurance.

A few days later Walter gets a call at his office from Mrs. Dietrichson, who asks him to drop by after he gets off, presumably to speak with her husband. Walter arrives at her house, however, to discover that he and Mrs. Dietrichson are alone yet again, with no impending timetable of her husband's return. This time, it is she who gives Walter the sales pitch. She asks Walter about the coverage polices regarding accidental death, and what kind of benefits that might mean for her if she were to take out a claim on her husband's life in the event some terrible tragedy were to befall him.

Walter quickly catches on, however, and wants nothing to do with it. He cracks a couple of wise jokes before making a b-line for the front door. Back at his apartment, Walter is kicking himself for walking out on the beautiful Mrs. Dietrichson, thinking he blew his only shot of ever seeing her again. Then a knock at the door. It's Phyllis with Walter's hat, which he forgot back at her house during his mad scramble for the door. After a few back-and-forth exchanges of loquacious banter laden with innuendo of the sexual variety, Walter apologizes and tells Phyllis that he's crazy about her. To which she replies, "I'm crazy about you too, Walter."

So crazy, it turns out, that they are both willing to commit murder in order to be together. Together the two hatch a plan for the perfect murder, one that will get Mr. Dietrichson out of the picture for good, and allow them to collect Double Indemnity on his life.

Billy Wilder directs this 1944 noir classic starring Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck, and Edward G. Robinson. Double Indemnity is easily one of the best films of all time, and in my opinion, the greatest and most iconic film noir of all time as well. All the elements are on display in this classic tale of human lust and desire. Will Walter and Mrs. Dietrichson get away with the perfect murder? Only time will tell. One thing's for sure, however. There are no happy endings in Dark City.

25 comments

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  • thedude-abides • 4 years ago

    @Mr_Eighty8: Thanks. Glad to know I can always count on u to get my rather unique sense of humor. (U forgot to thumbs up me!)

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    • mr-eighty8 • 4 years ago

      Great Review, once again. And that last is so fitting to a noir review. Great stuff.

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      • thedude-abides • 4 years ago

        Thanks, @Supes. That's by far the most I've ever gotten :)

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        • dan1 • 4 years ago

          13 thumbs up. Very nice, man.

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          • mattbierwagen • 4 years ago

            Ya i dont write many either

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            • thedude-abides • 4 years ago

              Thanks, @Worth5. I don't write that many, so it's cool. I'll be sure to check out some of yours from now on as well.

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              • mattbierwagen • 4 years ago

                Nice review! I cant believe i haven't seen any of your reviews before!

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                • thedude-abides • 4 years ago

                  @Wichy and @Narrator: Thanks for the positive marks. I'm glad I can say I turned you guys on to this one. I know u won't be disappointed.

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                  • dan1 • 4 years ago

                    Younger? I'm older then you :)

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                    • narrator • 4 years ago

                      I'm with the younger guys (Supes, 'Geek, Dave) in the fact that I haven't seen this yet either. I'll definitely look into it now. Great job, and sorry I'm late, I just got your heads up today. :P

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                      • wichitagalzl • 4 years ago

                        Well done @babyH. I have never had the opportunity to watch this but I will be checking it out now :) Good job!

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                        • moviegeek • 4 years ago

                          Ooh! @babyH That sounds like a great idea! I'd love to write an opposite review against someone. I look forward to reading it.

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                          • thedude-abides • 4 years ago

                            @Dave: Thx, man. Both u guys should give it a shot. U won't be disappointed.

                            @Moviegeek: That's high praise coming from a great reviewer such as yourself. Speaking of, @ejk1 and I have comparative reviews of Duck Soup that we will be posting in a few weeks.

                            He values the film much more than I do, so we will be giving our opposing views on it as soon as he gets the time. All credit goes to him for the idea, which I thought was brilliant. It should be interesting to say the least. Thx again for commenting.

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                            • daveactor7 • 4 years ago

                              I have never seen this film, and now I am intrigued. @BabyH you did a fabulous job sir

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                              • moviegeek • 4 years ago

                                I've been wanting to check this one out. You are good with reviewing the classics. you and @ejk1 both.

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                                • thedude-abides • 4 years ago

                                  @Supes: Thx, man. That's the beauty with this film. It's all story start to finish.

                                  @Jake & @Pie: Thx.

                                  @ejk1: Thx. I'm glad u mentioned that. I try to cater my reviews based on whatever film it is I'm reviewing. I thought it was a nice touch myself, given the subject matter. I'm just glad someone else did as well. Thx again.

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                                  • Ilikepie202 • 4 years ago

                                    nice review...

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                                    • ejk1 • 4 years ago

                                      @Sly, I'm sure you mean Arsenic and Old Lace.

                                      @babyH, excellent decision to review this film. And I love how you left a cliffhanger ending, which hopefully make those unaware of this film become interested.

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                                      • jakn • 4 years ago

                                        I;ve never heard of it. Good review though.

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                                        • dan1 • 4 years ago

                                          Sadly, I've never seen this. Best be correcting that. A lot of synopsis, but well written and a good read regardless, @babyH.

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