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Nainen ilman omaatuntoa [movie 1944] –…

Nainen ilman omaatuntoa [movie 1944] (alkuperäinen julkaisuvuosi 1944; vuoden 2009 painos)

– tekijä: Billy Wilder (Ohjaaja), Billy Wilder (screenplay), Raymond Chandler (screenplay), John F. Seitz (director of photography), Miklos Rozsa (Säveltäjä)3 lisää, Barbara Stanwyck (Actor), Fred MacMurray (Actor), Edward G. Robinson (Actor)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
1514144,739 (4.44)3
Walter Neff is a smooth talking insurance salesman who meets the very attractive Phyllis Dietrichson when he calls to renew her husband's automobile policy. The couple are immediately drawn to each other and have an affair. They scheme together to murder Phyllis' husband for life insurance money with a double indemnity clause. Unfortunately, all does not go as planned. Barton Keyes is the wily insurance investigator who must sort things out.… (lisätietoja)
Teoksen nimi:Nainen ilman omaatuntoa [movie 1944]
Kirjailijat:Billy Wilder (Ohjaaja)
Muut tekijät:Billy Wilder (screenplay), Raymond Chandler (screenplay), John F. Seitz (director of photography), Miklos Rozsa (Säveltäjä), Barbara Stanwyck (Actor)2 lisää, Fred MacMurray (Actor), Edward G. Robinson (Actor)
Info:[Tukholma] : Atlantic Film, [2009] EAN 7319980080579
Kokoelmat:Oma kirjasto
Arvio (tähdet):****
Avainsanoja:movies, dvd, classics, film noir, crime, books into movies, MyScan, movie marathon 2021, seen 2021


Double Indemnity [1944 film] (tekijä: Billy Wilder (Director/Screenwriter)) (1944)


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näyttää 4/4
Double Indemnity (1944)

Fred MacMurray – Walter Neff
Barbara Stanwyck – Phyllis Dietrichson
Edward Robinson – Barton Keyes

Tom Powers – Mr. Dietrichson
Jean Heather – Lola Dietrichson
Byron Barr – Nino Zachetti
Richard Gaines – Edward Norton Jr.

Screenplay by Billy Wilder and Raymond Chandler, based on the novel by James Cain (1936).*
Directed by Billy Wilder.

Black and white. 107 min.

*The novel was serialised in the Liberty magazine in 1936, but in book form it appeared only in 1943 as part of Three of A Kind (also including the novellas Career in C major and The Embezzler).


A wretched wife seduces a wretched lawyer/cop/drifter/salesman/whatever to kill her husband with predictable (or not?) consequences. The most exploited noir plot in movie history. James Cain may have started the vogue with his novel The Postman Always Rings Twice (1934), indifferently filmed with Lana Turner and John Garfield in 1946, much more memorably so with Jessica Lange and Jack Nicholson in 1981. In both cases, as in Steinbeck’s story “The Murder”, the ultimate crime is ingeniously presented as the road to happiness. More recent attempts like Body Heat (1981) and China Moon (1994), both set in sweaty Florida, have explored various degrees of genuine intimacy between the predator and the prey.

All these pale in comparison with Double Indemnity (1944), one of the first and still the best variation on the basic theme. The plot is the boldest of all, to begin with. It is the only one which includes a final showdown between the temptress and the sap in which she frankly tells him she never loved him at all, nor anyone else for that matter (that’s a consolation!), but then she tries to convince poor Walter that just now, when she failed to fire that second shot, her wicked nature has changed completely just like that. What a nerve!

This ending, like much else in the movie, is different than Mr Cain’s original novel. But with names like Billy Wilder, who actually wrote much more than he directed, and Raymond Chandler himself, the screenplay may be expected to be superb. So it is. I will mention some of the changes below. Suffice it to say here that the story is complicated but masterfully told, without loose or happy ends, and the characters have not become clichés despite countless imitations ever since. The dialogue is just as snappy as Mr Cain’s; it’s a different sort of snappiness, more humorous and less sinister, but just as effective; compare two brief samples from the novel and the script.

Phyllis: What would you do this for?
Walter: You, for one thing.
Phyllis: What else?
Walter: Money.

Phyllis: I think you’re rotten.
Walter: I think you’re swell – so long as I’m not your husband.

Then there is the cast. This is no less bold than the script. All members of the leading trio are cast somewhat against type. And all three are fabulous.

Fred MacMurray (1908–1991) was an accomplished and versatile actor who remains underrated. He is best-known for his villains, hilarious in The Apartment (1960) or detestable in The Caine Mutiny (1954), and did good jobs in a string of now forgotten comedies. But he could also pull off the serious and semi-tragic part of a regular, if cheeky and not too honest, guy seduced to crime by a blond bombshell, such as here by Babs or later in Pushover (1954) by the equally irresistible Kim Novak. Ruggedly handsome and rather debonair, MacMurray is a fine Walter indeed, believable and by no means unsympathetic. He also has a good deal of voiceover narrative to do, and he does it excellent well. It was a brilliant idea of Wilder and Chandler to tell the whole thing in a flashback as a memo from Walter to Keyes. This makes for a gripping opening scene and plenty of memorable lines:

Dear Keyes, I suppose you’ll call this a confession when you hear it... Well, I don’t like the word confession, I just want to set you right about something you couldn't see because it was smack up against your nose. You think you’re such a hot potato as a claims manager; such a wolf on a phony claim... Maybe y’are. But let’s take a look at that Dietrichson claim... accident and double indemnity. You were pretty good in there for awhile Keyes... you said it wasn’t an accident, check. You said it wasn’t suicide, check. You said it was murder... check.

Yes, I killed him. I killed him for money – and a woman – and I didn’t get the money and I didn’t get the woman. Pretty, isn’t it?

Barbara Stanwyck (1907–1990) is not so much cast against type, as she could play anybody with complete conviction and distinction, but against her awful hairdo. No matter. She makes all other femmes fatales from those times (e.g. Mary Astor in The Maltese Falcon, 1941) look like smitten schoolgirls, childish and harmless. Phyllis Dietrichson is neither. The seduction and the showdown are brilliantly written scenes, if anything better than in the novel, but still they are not entirely foolproof and can be botched by a mediocre actress. Not so here, not by Barbara Stanwyck. Not a word, glance or gesture wasted in her performance. Just look at her face while her husband is strangled. Billy Wilder keeps the murder off-screen and concentrates on Stanwyck’s face. This is what great acting is all about.

Edward Robinson (1893–1973), one of the greatest screen gangsters of all time (e.g. Johnny Rocco in Key Largo), here plays “a claims man” of inflexible integrity and brilliant intelligence. The role of Keyes, compared to the novel, is expanded to a great effect. The famous speech on suicides was originally Mr Cain’s, but much of the rest, including a touching father-son relationship with Walter, was original invention of the screenwriters. We know, of course, how the murder was planned and executed, but that only makes it more dramatic to see how the tenacious Keyes would go for it. To the Academy’s everlasting shame, Edward Robinson was not even nominated for this stunning performance, nor ever in his career for that matter.

Double Indemnity was nominated for seven Oscars. It won none of them. It lost three of the most important (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay) to the infinitely more forgettable Going My Way alone. This is easily the Academy’s greatest blunder in its illustrious history, greater than The Shawshank Redemption (1994) which lost seven of seven, too, but at least it lost them (mostly) to another masterpiece, Forrest Gump. Does it matter what the Academy says anyway? Nope, not a bit! Well over seven decades later, Double Indemnity remains not just a classic film-noir, but a mesmerising thing to watch.

I can imagine no better way to finish this review than the wisdom of Barton Keyes. Enjoy:

Come now, you’ve never read an actuarial table in your life, have you? Why they’ve got ten volumes on suicide alone. Suicide by race, by color, by occupation, by sex, by seasons of the year, by time of day. Suicide, how committed: by poison, by firearms, by drowning, by leaps. Suicide by poison, subdivided by types of poison, such as corrosive, irritant, systemic, gaseous, narcotic, alkaloid, protein, and so forth; suicide by leaps, subdivided by leaps from high places, under the wheels of trains, under the wheels of trucks, under the feet of horses, from steamboats. But, Mr. Norton, of all the cases on record, there’s not one single case of suicide by leap from the rear end of a moving train.

Eh? There it is, Walter. It’s beginning to come apart at the seams already. Murder’s never perfect. Always comes apart sooner or later, and when two people are involved it's usually sooner. Now we know the Dietrichson dame is in it and a somebody else. Pretty soon, we’ll know who that somebody else is. He’ll show. He’s got to show. Sometime, somewhere, they’ve got to meet. Their emotions are all kicked up. Whether it’s love or hate doesn’t matter; they can’t keep away from each other. They may think it's twice as safe because there’s two of them, but it isn’t twice as safe. It’s ten times twice as dangerous. They’ve committed a murder! And it’s not like taking a trolley ride together where they can get off at different stops. They’re stuck with each other and they got to ride all the way to the end of the line and it's a one-way trip and the last stop is the cemetery.

Desk job? Is that all you can see in it? Just a hard chair to park your pants on from 9 to 5? Just a pile of papers to shuffle around and five sharp pencils and a scratchpad to make figures on? Maybe a little doodling on the side? Well, that’s not the way I look at it, Walter. To me, a claims man is a surgeon. That desk is an operating table and those pencils are scalpels and bone-chisels. And those papers are not just forms and statistics and claims for compensation. They’re alive. They’re packed with drama, with twisted hopes and crooked dreams.

[Last lines:]
Walter Neff: Know why you couldn’t figure this one, Keyes? I’ll tell ya. ‘Cause the guy you were looking for was too close. Right across the desk from ya.
Barton Keyes: Closer than that, Walter.
Walter Neff: I love you, too.

PS The glorious music heard by Walter and Lola at the Hollywood Bowl is the first movement of Schubert’s Symphony No. 8, also known as “Unfinished”, apparently the most popular music in America during the 1940s and 1950s. It was heard in no fewer than 10 American movies (and 2 British ones) between 1940 and 1955, including this one and others with Barbara Stanwyck like Sorry, Wrong Number (1948) and All I Desire (1953). ( )
2 ääni Waldstein | Dec 9, 2017 |
Murder for insurance money.

I guess it was groundbreaking, but it's aged into cornball kitsch. I'm pretty sure it wasn't meant to be a comedy. It's very entertaining, though, whatever its context.

Concept: B
Story: B
Characters: D
Dialog: D
Pacing: B
Cinematography: A
Special effects/design: D
Acting: B
Music: A

Enjoyment: B

GPA: 2.6/4 ( )
  comfypants | Feb 3, 2016 |
(Double Indemmity Usa 1944 b/n , 107') Billy Wilder. Con Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwych, Edward G. Robinson, Tom Powers, Poter Hall, Byron Barr (Gig Young) , Fortunio Bonanova. * Non ho avuto i soldi e non ho avuto la donna" recita in un incipit indimenticabile la voce fuoricampo dell'assicuratore Walter Neff (MacMurray) che, travolto dalla passione per una sua cliente, Phyllis Dietrichson (Stanwyck), diventa suo complice nell'assassinio del marito, ma viene smascherato dal collega Barton Keyes (Robinson) meticoloso e pedante responsabile dell'ufficio contenziosi. Tratto dal romanzo omonino di James C. Cain (sceneggiato dal regista e da Raymond Chandler, qui alla sua prima esperienza per il cinema), è uno dei miglior esempi di film noir, dove "la fatalità sostituisce la suspense nella ricerca del colpevole" (Lourcelles) (la confessione iniziale non lascia dubbi sullo sviluppo del film, strutturato con un lungo flashback) e dove la protagonista - indimenticabile con la sua catenella alla caviglia - incarna perfettamente i tratti fondamentali della " femme fatale" (charme fisico, perversità morale, cupidigia, meschineria, ferocia). Lo svelamento del finale, comunque, non toglie tensione al film, perchè lo scontro (tipicamente wilderiano )tra due intelligenze, quella puntigliosa di Keyes e quella criminale degli amanti, reintroduce nella struttura narrativa la suspense del film poliziesco. Il film doveva concludersi con il processo e l'esecuzione della camera a gas di Neff, ma queste scene furono tolte dal montaggio definitivo (senza danneggiare la struttura drammatica dell'opera) poco prima del'uscita ufficiale. ( )
  videotecadsu | Nov 30, 2015 |
En la ciudad de Los Angeles un agente de una compañía de seguros y una cliente traman asesinar al marido de esta última para así cobrar un cuantioso y falso seguro de accidentes. Todo se complica cuando entra en acción Barton Keyes, investigador de la empresa de seguros.
  bibliest | Feb 26, 2015 |
näyttää 4/4
Barbara Stanwyck’s Phyllis Dietrichson—a platinum blonde who wears tight white sweaters, an anklet, and sleazy-kinky shoes—is perhaps the best acted and the most fixating of all the slutty, cold-blooded femmes fatales of the film-noir genre. With her bold stare, her sneering, over-lipsticked, thick-looking mouth, and her strategically displayed legs, she’s a living entrapment device. Fred MacMurray’s Walter Neff, an insurance salesman, is the patsy she ensnares in a plot to kill her businessman-husband and collect on the double-indemnity clause in his policy; MacMurray’s slightly opaque, regular-guy, macho Americanness is perfectly used here (he has never had better audience empathy). And as Keyes, the claims investigator for the insurance company, Edward G. Robinson handles his sympathetic role with an easy mastery that gives the film some realistic underpinnings. It needs them, because despite the fine use of realistic sets—a cheerless middle-class home, a supermarket, offices—Chandler’s dialogue is in his heightened laconic mode, and the narration (Walter Neff tells the story) is often so gaudy and terse that it seems an emblem of 40s hard-boiled attitudes. This defect may be integral to the film’s taut structure. Another, lesser defect isn’t: except for the three stars, the cast is just barely adequate.
lisäsi SnootyBaronet | muokkaaNew Yorker, Pauline Kael
I love Double Indemnity because it's about a couple who are cheap and greedy, but achieve a kind of tragic heroism; because it has one of the great father-son relationships (although they aren't actually father and son); because it's a thoroughly cynical thriller redeemed by just a fading touch of romance. And it also has a trio of superb performances: Fred MacMurray, who tended to play amiable chumps, was here recast as a devious murderer (though still a bit of a chump); Barbara Stanwyck, as the deadliest of femme fatales; and Edward G Robinson, the career-gangster now turned softy with "a heart as big as a house".
lisäsi SnootyBaronet | muokkaaThe Guardian, Paul Howlett

» Lisää muita tekijöitä

Tekijän nimiRooliTekijän tyyppiKoskeeko teosta?Tila
Wilder, BillyDirector/Screenwriterensisijainen tekijäkaikki painoksetvahvistettu
Chandler, RaymondScreenwriterpäätekijäkaikki painoksetvahvistettu
Hall, Portermuu tekijäkaikki painoksetvahvistettu
MacMurray, FredActormuu tekijäkaikki painoksetvahvistettu
Robinson, Edward G.muu tekijäkaikki painoksetvahvistettu
Stanwyck, BarbaraActormuu tekijäkaikki painoksetvahvistettu

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This is the film. Please use this heading for DVDs, etc. of Double Indemnity. There is a separate entry for printed film scripts. If your copy here is NOT a recording, you could consider separating it and re-combining correctly. The Combiners! group can help if necessary.
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Walter Neff is a smooth talking insurance salesman who meets the very attractive Phyllis Dietrichson when he calls to renew her husband's automobile policy. The couple are immediately drawn to each other and have an affair. They scheme together to murder Phyllis' husband for life insurance money with a double indemnity clause. Unfortunately, all does not go as planned. Barton Keyes is the wily insurance investigator who must sort things out.

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