Insurance agent Walter Neff is fascinated by Phyllis Dietrichson, one of his clients. Together, they prepare the assassination of her husband, not without Walter having the latter take out an accident insurance contract. Putting their crime into execution, the two accomplices think they have pulled off the coup of the century until the payment is frozen by the investigation led by the head of the litigation department Barton Keyes...
"The desire of Wilder and his collaborators to escape the "glamorous" style of part of the Hollywood production of the time bears the mark of the "Film Noir" of which Assurance sur la mort will quickly be one of the recognized classics. - Patrick Brion, Le Film Noir
For his third American film, Billy Wilder teams up with screenwriter and author Raymond Chandler ( The Maltese Falcon ) and together they adapt a novel by James M. Cain ( The Postman Always Rings Twice ). A timeless masterpiece of film noir, Assurance sur la mort transcends the genre thanks to a stunning use of light, a masterful score by Miklós Rózsa and a flawless performance by Barbara Stanwyck, staggering in her role as femme fatale.
DEATH INSURANCE (1944 – B&W – 103 mins) SUPPLEMENTS *
Blu-ray Edition: SUPPLEMENTS (IN HD)
. AUDIO COMMENTARY (VOSTF) From film historian Nick Redman and screenwriter Lem Dobbs (Dark City, The Englishman).
. SHADOWS OF SUSPENSE (38 mins) A documentary on the film punctuated by interviews with Eddie Muller, William Friedkin and the writer James Ellroy.
. THE LAST CIGARETTE (35 mins) An investigation into the artistic motivations of Billy Wilder and the conduct of a character who has become one of the genre's most iconic criminals.
DVD edition: DVD 1 - THE FILM BONUS:
. AUDIO COMMENTARY by screenwriter Lem Dobbs ( Dark City , The Englishman ) and film historian Nick Redman (VOST)
. VINTAGE TRAILER
DVD 2 - SUPPLEMENTS
. DOUBLE INDEMNITY TV VERSION (1973 – 70 mins) In the tradition of television remakes orchestrated in the 60s and 70s, Assurance sur la mort is no exception to the rule. A revival of Billy Wilder's original work, with Richard Crenna, Samantha Eggar and Lee J. Cobb in the lead roles.
. SHADOWS OF SUSPENSE (38 mins) An original documentary on the film where specialists of the genre such as Eddie Muller, Alain Silver and the writer James Ellroy ( Le Dahlia noir ) meet through interviews.