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Tricia's retro film review: Double Indemnity

Double Indemnity


Double Indemnity is the 1944 film noir directed by Billy Wilder. Walter Neff is an insurance salesman who falls in love with a married woman named Phyllis. She wants to take out accident insurance without her husband knowing. Walter suspects she wants to murder her husband, but is seduced by Phyllis and joins her in her plan. However, his boss, Barton Keyes, has a strong sense of justice and investigates Mr. Dietrichson’s “suicide.” With the investigation and the revelation that Phyllis is planning to kill him, what will Walter do?

This is a really good film noir. It helps that the screenplay is written by two very good writers, Billy Wilder and Raymond Chandler. Edward G. Robinson plays a good guy this time and does a good job at it. The ending is ambiguous in whether Walter survives or not, but it is clear that his fate will not be a happy one. Phyllis is your typical femme fatale, but unusually she is able to kill off the wife as well as the husband. Honolulu film noir fans should buy this movie.

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