Free Afternoon Movie
June 5 Double Indemnity (1944) 1 hr 47 min.
Insurance salesman Walter Neff (Fred MacMurray), meets seductive Phyllis Dietrichson (Barbara Stanwyck), and they have an affair. Phyllis plots to kill her husband to get the proceeds of an accident insurance policy, and Walter schemes to receive twice the payout via a double indemnity clause. When Mr. Dietrichson is found dead, police accept it as an accidental death, but insurance analyst (and Walter’s best friend) Barton Keyes (Edward G. Robinson) doesn’t buy that, and the action is on!
This film came out as director David O. Selznick released Since You Went Away, with major ads declaring, “‘Since You Went Away’ are the four most important words in movies since ‘Gone With the Wind’!” which Selznick had also produced. Billy Wilder hated this and put out his own ads: “‘Double Indemnity’ are the two most important words in movies since ‘Broken Blossoms’!” Selznick, unamused, considered legal action against Wilder—and Alfred Hitchcock took out his own ads: “The two most important words in movies today are ‘Billy Wilder’!”