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Double Indemnity (1944)

Fred MacMurray , Barbara Stanwyck , Billy Wilder  |  NR |  DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (288 customer reviews)

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Other [VHS] Gene Shalit's Critic's Choice Edition $27.49  
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Product Details

  • Actors: Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward G. Robinson, Byron Barr, Porter Hall
  • Directors: Billy Wilder
  • Writers: Billy Wilder, James M. Cain, Raymond Chandler
  • Producers: Buddy G. DeSylva, Joseph Sistrom
  • Format: Widescreen, Closed-captioned, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Image Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: January 28, 1998
  • Run Time: 107 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (288 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305077517
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #252,148 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Double Indemnity" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

An insurance claims manager gets a familiar feeling of foul play while investigating the death of a man whose wife just had him sign a double-indemnity policy through her insurance agent and lover.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
227 of 258 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A classic film but an appallingly bad DVD transfer. October 30, 1999
By A Customer
Double Indemnity is obviously a classic film but this DVD transfer is appalling. Almost every scene is incredibly grainy, the source print is obviously not in very good conditon (perhaps needing to be refurbished), and to top it off, there are no deluxe features and the extra packaging is rather inadequate(with no information booklet or history of the movie).
This would be frustrating for any film but is downright shameful treatment of a cinema classic. We can only hope someone will spend the time and money necessary to restore the print for a new theater run, as has been done with other older films. Perhaps then, DVD buyers will get the version of this classic they deserve.
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163 of 189 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
this is a 5 star movie....

this review is of the NEW Universal 2 dvd set.... which is a three star value.

Typical of Universals crappy Deer Hunter 2 DVD set..we've got a classic movie....with extras that could easily fit on one DVD...but Universal tries to make this into a bigger "ticket" by stretching it out.

The movie....its a classic...I've got the original release on DVD. The EXTRAS are

1) an introduction by Robert Osborne, nothing special and watched once you'll be irritated having to see it again every time you hit PLAY..

2) commentary tracks by the usual suspects (including the king of bloat Richard Schickel) and Universal has two so they put two more extra features on their package for these..

3) a half hour film noir primer , that's been done better on the WB noir sets and again features the same film professors etc that we are growing all too familiar with.

4) a 1 hour and 15 minute TV version from the 70's starring Richard Crenna ...which is the ONLY feature on the second disc.

I'll give Universal a bit of credit...the film itself does seem a bit improved over the initial out of print release...but closer scrutiny of the two would be necessary and I've got a life so I'll leave that to others.

Bottom line....Universal is hard to figure out...they take some multiple classic titles and stuff em onto flipper DVDs (info on both sides) and crank em out the Brando,Wayne,Cooper,Lombard sets....and then they take other films and run the package to two discs for no other reason than to make it "seem" important and packed with extras. They use strange fat cases to make it seem like these are books full of goodies instead of space filling clear plastic...
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41 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Could Restored 35mm print be on the horizon? October 13, 2005
oops, 5-star is obviously for the movie, not the current very poor presentation on DVD.

But this September the Museum of the Moving Image in NYC screened their newly restored 35mm print of this film. It was stunning gorgeous B&W imagery (think the 2-disc special edition of Casablanca which came out last year). I'll be checking Amazon every few weeks to see if its release has been scheduled!
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56 of 65 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great film, deplorable DVD February 28, 2000
What a tremendous film! It's just wonderful. Especially Edward G. Robinson. Sadly, it's a bit dated (much of the dialogue looks rather campy by today's standards), but the plot hasn't aged a day. It's still a tense and enthralling film noir masterpiece.
It's a pity the DVD is so very poor. It's really awful. I can't stress this enough. It's very grainy, there are no bonus features at all, and there's no liner notes at all. Extremely shoddy treatment of such a wonderful film. I'd like to see a special edition of this film produced as soon as possible, and done right!
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wanna hear a real crime story? September 29, 2005
By walker
The true life crime behind this film noir masterpiece is

that no otherwise worthy studio (ie. Image, Criterion Collection,Anchor Bay, Kino) has re-issued this DVD after Universal senslessly dropped it from production 4 years ago. Today, the few remaining original, factory-sealed copies are selling on Amazon for over $100. As always, Universal Home

Video's site refuses to receive consumer feedback. As they only just released the Region 2 version this July, they probably still own the video rights. But my Region 1 player won't play the disc. Needless to say, I am very upset. Will my fellow

cinephiles, please lobby Amazon to lobby Universal?? THE

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76 of 92 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars GREAT FILM - TERRIBLE, TERRIBLE DVD TRANSFER June 23, 2004
By A Customer
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Do not purchase this DVD release. Its transfer to DVD is truly horrendous.
Wait for some other distributor to release it.
Wonderful film. Totally botched DVD release.
Wait for it...
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Legendary Thriller deserves quality transfer July 8, 2003
this legendary thriller is one of the greatest and most influential and most imitated films in motion picture history. the dialogue is intelligent, the plot is engrossing and the cast stellar. one question: why is the DVD transfer of this great film of very inferior quality. artifacts are rampant throughout. the picture is very grainy through most of the film. so much could have been done with this film. it is certainly among those films that deserved the special treatment but appears as though the distributers and studio used the first negative available for the transfer. very disappointing DVD. i don't usually purchase a second DVD version of any film, but the transfer on this one was so inferior, i'll make exception here.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A film noir masterpiece for a Fall night September 8, 2005
Format:VHS Tape
It is the middle of the night in downtown Los Angeles, luscious film noir land brilliantly photographed by John Seitz in high gloss B&W and grippingly scored by Miklos Rozsa. A wounded Walter Neff (Fred MacMurray in his greatest performance) gets out of a taxi at an insurance building. Dripping blood, he gets into an elevator and rides up to his office, where he starts dictating a confession into an old-fashioned dictaphone. That confession will be the entire movie in flashback.

So begins Billy Wilder's incomparable film noir, DOUBLE INDEMNITY (1944, Paramount), that uses a flashback framing device, but periodically returns to Neff in the office as dawn slowly comes to Los Angeles. Murder mysteries just don't get any better than this masterpiece that swept the Oscar nominations (but not for MacMurray!), but lost most of them to Leo McCarey's likeable but wildly overrated GOING MY WAY. Trying to get a Mr. Dietrichson (Tom Powers) to renew an insurance policy, Neff gets romantically involved with alluring wife Phyllis Dietrichson (a blonde Barbara Stanwyck). The two of them then team up to commit the seemingly perfect murder of Mr. Dietrichson on a train at night.

Everything seems to go perfectly, except for a witness (Porter Hall) who remembers Neff (as Dietrichson) being on the observation deck when he was not supposed to be. And, of course, investigating the entire crime is claims manager Barton Keyes (a brilliant Edward G. Robinson), Neff's boss. I once wrote a term paper on DOUBLE INDEMNITY as a student at UCLA. The subject was who do we root for here--Neff or Keyes? Clearly, the censor board wants us to root for Keyes. Neff is a criminal.

But Wilder and co-writer/novelist Raymond Chandler make both men complex and curiously sympathetic.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
good old movie. I thoroughly enjoyed it
Published 10 hours ago by Joyanne Kline
5.0 out of 5 stars Fred McMurray before "My Three Sons"
If you look up the definition of "Film Noir" anywhere, this movie is what you will be directed to watch. Read more
Published 1 day ago by Gordon Woodroof
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent movie
Published 4 days ago by Sheila Flynn
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my all time favorites!
This movie crackles! Everyone does a great job, especially Edward G. Robinson as the insurance company investigator. Read more
Published 12 days ago by Stanwyck
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
This is the ultimate Fred-Barbara pairing but Edward G steals the movie
Published 14 days ago by Jill abramson
5.0 out of 5 stars *Exquisite* Movie & Some *Extras*
This is the first time that I have watched DOUBLE INDEMNITY 70TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION and it looks great on Blu-Ray. Read more
Published 23 days ago by Alex Honda
5.0 out of 5 stars Blu Ray Makes It Even Better
Was Barbara Stanwyck ever better? If Fred MacMurray had not made this film would he have always been remembered just for his comedies. And don't forget Edward G Robinson. Read more
Published 26 days ago by Dennis J. Pauly
5.0 out of 5 stars Among the Very Best Film Noir
No point in recounting the plot here. Simply put, this is one of the finest films noir ever produced and clearly Fred MacMurray's finest hour. Read more
Published 29 days ago by Jon Mcauliffe
5.0 out of 5 stars A taut, intelligent film
A true classic noir, fully deserving it's reputation. All the actors give their best performances. The dialog is all memorable, and quickly but subtly sets the mood.
Published 1 month ago by Khirul
5.0 out of 5 stars All Time Great Noir
This is one of the very best of the Film Noir movies of the 40s. Edward G. Robinson steals the show each time he is on screen. The Blu Ray disc looks marvelous. Read more
Published 1 month ago by J. L. Scheschy
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I've just bought this "Special Edition" simply because I love the film, it's my favorite Noir. As far as the quality of the transfer is concerned, I have to admit that after watching the film I was somewhat surprised by Robert Osborne's gushing intro saying how good the film now looks.... Read More
Sep 16, 2006 by Paul Fogarty |  See all 3 posts
7 years later, and I have the same comment as Bev. Amazon is putting the same comment thread on all the DVDs, so the 3-4 different DVD releases all have the same 'bad transfer' comment. But you can't tell which copy is bad (are they all bad). errr.
Nov 29, 2013 by John S. Mclachlan |  See all 2 posts
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