''That's a honey of an anklet you're wearing, Mrs. Dietrichson.''
Double Indemnity is the dazzling, quintessential film noir whose enormous popular success and seven Oscar nominations catapulted Billy Wilder (Some Like It Hot, Sunset Boulevard, The Apartment) into the very top tier of Hollywood's writer-directors. Adapted from a novella by James M. Cain (The Postman Always Rings Twice), co-written by Wilder and Raymond Chandler (The Big Sleep, The Long Goodbye), Double Indemnity remains the hardest-boiled of delectations.
Insurance hawker Walter Neff (Fred MacMurray) gets seduced by some other man's wife: a bored, sex-starved Barbara Stanwyck done up in lorry-grille wig and a pair of lips like wine grapes smashed in candle-wax. She wants to off her better half and collect on his policy, but spitfire claims-adjuster Barton Keyes (Edward G. Robinson) smells a rat – or at least the cheap perfume all over that Dietrichson file.
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When one decides to watch any of these golden Billy Wilder movies, one makes a commitment. Because in Billy Wilder movies, people talk and they talk fast. And boy does it work here! This noir'ish 1944 film shows you how sometimes the plot is not as important as the journey and the story which comes to alive during that journey. The "plot" is slammed and spoiled at your face right at the beginning and the trip to fall in love with these hateful characters can begin. The scan of the film, which I believe was made in co-operation with Universal, looks really good here. The blacks are beautiful and all those different shades of grey are presented in a great way on this blu ray. I haven't seen any of the bonus material yet, but everything seems like they are going to serve this release in a proper way. The booklet gave great insight to the Double Indemnity universe. John Allyn interview with Billy Wilder was really interesting. I'd say that this release makes great justice to the legendary phenomena in cinema history, which we know by the name of: Double Indemnity.