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10 thoughts on “Double Indemnity

  1. Jeffrey Keeten Jeffrey Keeten says:

    “I had killed a man for money and a woman I didn't have the money and I didn't have the woman”One of the great Noir lines of all time Cain wrote it Raymond Chandler used it in the movie I could stop my review right here because that line sums up the movie perfectlyBut I can't I love writing about booksWalter Huff met a woman A married woman a woman Huff would be willing to turn himself inside out if that would insure her love Her name is Phyllis and she has a thought not even a plan just a thought of what she would like to do about her husband Fred MacMurray and Barbara StanwyckMuch has been made of Phyllis being a femme fatale maybe even one of the most viperous examples in history It has been a while since I've seen the movie and maybe Stanwyck does portray Phyllis much deviously manipulative than what I found the book Phyllis to be Now I'm not saying she is an angel I'm just saying she ran into a guy that even surprised himself with what he was willing to do with the hope of getting the girlHuff has made a career out of reading people and when he meets Phyllis she asks him a handful of suggestive uestions and the guy is already formulating a full blown plan for insurance fraud He has been in the insurance game for a long time and he knows about every angle ever thought up by anyone to try and pull one over on an insurance company He is uniuely ualified to formulate the perfect scamI don't like insurance Life insurance they are betting I live I'm betting I die It is kind of crazy if you give it much thought Car insurance they are betting I don't get in an accident I'm betting that I do The industry has convinced us to bet against ourselves and pay for the privilege And yet even though I'm aware of the situation I pay thousands of dollars of insurance premiums every year to insure one disaster doesn't sink the ship Walter Huff would love stopping by to see me Huff is so intent on the details of this insurance rip off that he never learns much about Phyllis He doesn't even really seem to care about why she would be interested in killing her husband She is the bunny and he is the greyhound running around the track There is no hesitation about Huff He leaps at the chance to help Phyllis get the insurance money I'm not sure what was important to him pulling off the perfect swindle my voteor winning the girl James M CainCrisp wonderful writing with pitch perfect dialogue My recommendation is read the book and then watch the movie a perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon At least 18 films have been made from James M Cain novels and stories Besides this novel he wrote two other novels that are not only considered noir fiction classics but also translated well to film The Postman Always Rings Twiceand Mildred Pierce In college I took a film and novel class and Mildred Pierce was one of the booksmovies on the syllabus One of the most enjoyable classes I ever took I love the combination of two different art forms I generally like the book better because there is usually depth to the characters and subplots can be incorporated into the flow of the novel Film is restricted by length but when they get it right they really get it right I try as best I can to judge books and movies from books on separate scales Even a movie that butchers the original source material can be a great movie In the case of James M Cain because he wrote such great dialogue Hollywood did not have to deviate far from his original intentions Highly recommendedIf you wish to see of my most recent book and movie reviews visit also have a Facebook blogger page at

  2. _ngallagher _ngallagher says:


  3. Alejandro Alejandro says:

    Double as good BOOK TO FILM I watched the film adaptation of Double Indemnity and I loved itI think that the look of the actress Barbara Stanwyck is the very definition of a femme fatale I am aware of other great examples like Rita Hayworth in Gilda Lana Turner in The Postman always rings twice or Lauren Bacall in The Big Sleep to name a few but when the term of “femme fatale” comes to mind the image of Barbara Stanwyck in Double Indemnity is my first thoughtWhen I watched for the first time the movie it was shocking to see Fred MacMurray in this kind of movie he did it masterfully but my previous experience with him in acting was pretty much with his work on Disney related films like The Shaggy Dog and The Absent Minded Professor so imagine my shock watching him in such dark roleI think that it was odd that Raymond Chandler was the selected one to co work on the script adaptation for this novel written by James M Cain The film adaptation was well done but the story is pretty much the same with some minor exceptions like changing the last names of the main characters so I don’t see why not to hire James M Cain to adapt his own work GREED MEETS LUST Double Indemnity is a uick reading and uite entertainingWalter Huff an Insurance Agent really good at his job meets a married woman Phyillis Nirdlingler and they plot to kill her husband for getting the juicy payment of a double indemnity insurance policy Keyes an agent in the Insurance Company in charge of checking any foul play in the collection of insurances' payments will be a real hound to be sure that everything sounds okay in the caseMaybe my only complain about the story is that Huff is too fast convinced to be involved in the murder plot Yes Phyllis is described like a sexy lady but I think that only lust isn’t enough motivation for a character like Walter Huff to agree so uick When the story evolves you will know that this isn’t the “first rodeo” of Phyllis so it’s uite believable that she would be thinking about a way to break off from her husband but with getting a big amount of money for her own in the processHowever Walter is described as hard working with many years in the insurance business there isn’t any evidence that he had been a ladies’ man in the past or even having debts for any reason Also Walter isn’t a fresh young boy but a mature man where if he didn’t do anything illegal before it’s uite odd to start to do felonies then So okay I admit that we men don’t think well when a sexy woman is around but one thing is to do some small foolishness to impress a lady and uite another to commit a crime not only an insurance fraud but also a murderThe novel is based on a real life incident so yes we men are such stupid I am not saying that we aren’t able to do such kind of things only I comment that the character of Walter Huff in the novel lacks of a some convincing reason to agree so dang fast to get deep in misdeedAnother factor that I enjoyed about the book is that while it's clearly a noir story instead of having a private detective as the main character the story doesn't have any private detective at all Sure Keyes does many investigative work in his position in the Insurance Company but he's not a private detective and also the story is told from the point of view of the culprit ones Double Indemnity is a smart story with an engaging narrative showing the dark side of human nature and how a couple can coldy design step by step the perfect way to murder a person in order to get money and how the chaos of real life is ruthless with everybody good or bad

  4. Kemper Kemper says:

    What is it with this James Cain? First I tried reading The Postman Always Rings Twice to prepare for my civil service exam but it was all about murder and didn’t have anything at all about postal regulations Then I read Double Indemnity to try and become an insurance agent and once again it’s nothing but a guy getting busy with another man's wife and then plotting to kill him At least this one actually had some stuff about the insurance industry and I did learn a bit about fraud Still it was mostly about murder This Cain must have had a lot of problems Or maybe these books shouldn’t have been shelved with the study guides at the library?

  5. Ahmad Sharabiani Ahmad Sharabiani says:

    ‭Double indemnity James Mallahan CainDouble Indemnity is a 1943 crime novel written by American journalist turned novelist James M Cain Walter Huff an insurance agent falls for the married Phyllis Nirdlinger who consults him about accident insurance for her unsuspecting husband In spite of his instinctual decency and intrigued by the challenge of committing the perfect murder Walter is seduced into helping the femme fatale kill her husband for the insurance money After killing him in the Nirdlinger car they stage an accident from the rear platform of a train But they cannot enjoy their success The crime backfires on them and soon afterwards with the insurance company's claim manager Barton Keyes becoming and suspicious of them he decides to kill her too for what she knew about me and because the world isn't big enough for two people once they've got something like that on each other With her own distrust mounting Phyllis also decides to kill her accomplice One night he tries to ambush her but she forestalls him and shoots at him instead He survives though and the end sees both of them on a steamship heading to Mexico Keyes has given them an ostensible chance to escape formal justice by booking their passages without them knowing about the other تاریخ نخستین خوانش روز بیست و نهم ماه سپتامبر سال 2013 میلادیعنوان غرامت مضاعف؛ اثر جیمز ام کین؛ مترجم بهرنگ رجبی؛ مشخصات نشر تهران، نشر چشمه، 1390، در 151ص، شابک 9786002290250؛ موضوع داستانهای نویسندگان آمریکایی سده 20معنوان غرامت مضاعف؛ اثر جیمز ام کین؛ مترجم نیکا خمسی؛ تهران، علمی فرهنگی؛ 1397؛ در 108ص؛ شابک 9786004366724؛ رمان عاشقانه جنایی «غرامت مضاعف»، اثر «جیمز ام کین» ستایشگران بسیاری داشته است، جناب «بهرنگ رجبی» مترجم کتاب، در مقدمه ی رمان، نویسنده را آغازگر رمان نوآر امریکایی دانسته اند، و نوشته اند «دشیل همت، و ریموند چندلر، و دیوید گودیس، و جیم تامپسون، و جیم الروی، و همه‌ استادان بعدی جنایی‌نویسی، بی‌شک وام‌دار راهی هستند که ایشان باز کرد و پیمود»؛رمان پلیسی «پستچی همیشه دوبار زنگ می‌زند» از همین نویسنده نیز بسیار خواندنی ست؛ گویا در همان مقدمه بود خواندم، که «تام ولف» روزنامه نگار و نویسنده آمریکایی، گفته اند «هر کس می‌خواهد داستان‌نویسی یاد بگیرد، برود رمان‌های جیمز ام کین را بخواند»؛چکیده داستان از مواجهه یک مامور بیمه با همسر یکی از مشتریان آغاز می‌شود که آنها سعی دارند نقشه قتل مرد بیمه‌ گذار را اجرایی کنند؛ «فیلیس دیتریکسن» زنی ست مکار، فاسد و پول‌پرست که به‌ طور اتفاقی با «والتر هاف» فروشنده بیمه شرکت «پاسیفیک»، آشنا می‌شود؛ «والتر» برای تمدید قرارداد بیمه خودروی سواری آقای «دیتریکسن» به منزل آن‌ها آمده است، اما داستان جور دیگری رقم می‌خورد؛ «دیتریکسن» منزل نیست و «والتر» خود را با «فیلیس» رو در رو می‌بیند خیلی زود به او دل می‌بندند و «فیلیس» هم تصمیم به قتل شوهر خود و سو‌ء‌ استفاده کلان از شرکت بیمه می‌گیرد؛ «والتر» عقل‌ باخته و دل‌باخته، ابزار دست «فیلیس» می‌شود، و نقشه‌ ماهرانه‌ ای برای قتل شوهر او، و سرکیسه‌ کردن شرکت بیمه، که خود از همه ی ریزه‌ کاری‌های پژوهشها، و نحوه ی اثبات ادعای خسارت، آگاهی دارد، طرح می‌کند؛ «دیتریکسن» باید در سانحه‌ ی قطار بمیرد، تا «فیلیس» غرامت مضاعف دریافت کند؛ و؛ ا شربیانی

  6. Stephen Stephen says:

    Ooh la lathe femme fatale Intelligent gorgeous self assured and drenched in enough sexual allure to stop a heart at 50 paces These cold calculating foxes are nature's consummate predators guaranteed to ensnare any man by his short and curlies faster and tighter than a rusty zipper In fact the only adversary likely to separate a man from his giblets is the femme bot toting high caliber machine gun jubblies Well Double Indemnity has one of the most memorable of these vile vexing vixens and central character Walter Huff is played like a string uartet by this virtuoso of diabolicalness Walter’s an insurance salesman who finds himself involved in a plot with a rich man’s wife to ice hubby and collect on the life insurance The title comes from the 2X payout for accidental death caused by a train All aboardAt the risk of sounding oxymoronical Walter comes across as a decent bloke provided you discount the positively reprehensible actions in which he finds himself a willing and active participant Unfortunately and despite being crafty and very intelligent in his own right Walter’s in way over his hairline and is eggs and buttered toast minus the butter and eggs from the opening act However his lack of a moral compass and unwillingness to second guess his actions makes him less than sympathetic As far as the pacing taut and gripping doesn’t begin to describe the breakneck speed of this masterful tale At a scant 128 pages this story is sleek fast and corners like it's on rails glueing you to your seat from the get go Cain’s sparse detached prose is uintessential noir and he stays in complete command of his verse as he deftly navigates the plot But all of a sudden she looked at me and I felt a chill creep straight up my back and into the roots of my hair Do you handle accident insurance? Speaking of the plot that is where this story really knocks it out of the park It is pitch perfect As detailed intricate and well crafted a plot as I have witnessed in my time with crime fiction and I was awed by how on cue every element of the story was A most unintended pun My one and only gripe in this otherwise mouth watering bowl of yummynot enough emotional wreckage Call it sick and twisted but one of the dark guilty pleasures of a good piece of noiry nastiness is when the dumb lug with a heart of gold and brains of formica realizes he’s been washed pressed and folded by the Kathleen TurnerSharon StoneLauren Becall esue villainess Well because of Walter’s own ethical deficiencies the pay off is not as sadistically satisfying as it would have been if Walter had been truly worthy of sympathy He just had a little too much scum in his bag to truly garner much sympathy Don’t get me wrong Walter’s character is superbly drawn and he brings an interesting emotional dynamic to the story I just wasn’t as emotionally invested in him as I’ve been with other lead characters that had a better allotment of decency to be twisted by the powers of evil Still this is just about as good as it gets for noir crime fiction and this is oh so rightfully considered one of the pillars of the genre50 stars HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION PS Now I'm off to watch the movie which sad as it sounds I have never seen

  7. Evgeny Evgeny says:

    With thanks to my buddy readersWalter Huff had an interesting job An interesting in the sense that in real life I cannot think of any other job boring than his I mean paint dry watching job had it existed would have been exciting On the other hand in noir literature this job guarantees you all the excitement you can think of a crowd of drop dead gorgeous women taking turns jumping at you in case of a male protagonist; the crowd is replaced by handsome hunks for a female one getting shot at every fifteen minutes getting your hands on kind of money that would make Jeff Bezos turn green of envy and seeing this money go away in a blink of an eye etcI am taking about the glorious ha ha just kidding job of an insurance salesman I being in fairly advanced age still believe the whole insurance business is the biggest legal scum of a modern society Think of it this way you pay your money to an insurance company hoping you will get it back and in case of emergency The insurance company in turn takes your money hoping it will never come close to paying it off See the contradiction? See the whole US medial insurance system as an example In any way when a femme fatale asked Walter Huff to ensure her husband's life without him knowing about it he had no doubts that the said husband is about to meet his untimely demise For some unclear to me reason not only he decided to help but also gave her an advice on how to double the money to claim from the insurer his own company and took active part in developing the plan and getting his hands dirty in this case bloody As a result of their actions everybody began double crossing everybody like there is no tomorrow The story is fast moving and short enough to be right to the point Its length prevents it from ever becoming boring On the negative side it is not exactly mind blowing I have seen similar ones before Here I have to make a disclaimer it is uite possible this one is the first story of such type and everything else that followed simply copied itThere is a bigger problem however None of the characters are anything than a simple story movers including the narrator Walter Huff I already mentioned his briefly but I am still in the dark about his decision to commit a murder and an insurance fraud Was it his love for a woman his love for money we are talking about 50000 here both or something else entirely? The guy being a narrator avoided having to explain thisMy conclusion a good and easy to read story but I completely failed to see why it is called one of the classic of noir literature Go read some Dashiell Hammett or Raymond Chandler instead Or Ross Macdonald if you feel like reading something closer to our time These are classics

  8. Julie Julie says:

    It's obvious that James M Cain was a man who didn't believe in foreplayForeplay? Nah The broads don't need any of that aggravationJust open the door introduce yourself maybe buy the dame a drink then BAM Under those blue pajamas was a shape to set a man nutsSet a man nuts and kill her husband too Sure why not? Bada bing bada boomBut wait Turns out the job was sloppy and the doll's a wench That's all it takes one drop of fear to curdle love into hateAh Mr Cain knows how to cut right to the chase AlwaysAnd even though foreplay can be so appealing in far better developed novels I find that I don't need it here I can't uite explain it but I can crunch up these hardboiled crime fiction novels like pieces of hard candyThey remind me that reading can be so damn fun Like blowing bubbles with a giant wad of gum in your mouth fun Like pink bubble gum funThree stars when compared to The Postman Always Rings Twice and Mildred Pierce

  9. Glenn Russell Glenn Russell says:

    The novel begins with first person narrator Walter Huff reflecting back on the seuence of events that started when he remembered a renewal over in Hollywoodland We read That was how I came to this House of Death that you've been reading about in the papers It didn't look like a House of Death when I saw it It was just a Spanish house like all the rest of them in California This sense of foreboding hangs over each and every sentence Alert my review contains what could be considered spoilers Turns out Walter Huff is an insurance salesman who wants to beat the insurance Industry at its own game Walter sees the whole world of insurance as a roulette wheel and since he can see its inner workings from behind the scene he wants to play the wheel and cash in However Walter needs a partner that is an outside plant a customer willing to join him in playing the game in placing a bet in putting the chips down in a gamble to commit a murder that will look like suicide so he and his partner can collect big time double indemnity on the life insurance policyWalter finds his plant in Phyllis who lives with her husband and stepdaughter in that Spanish house in Hollywoodland a house looking like all the others But what a plant Little does Walter know Phyllis is a flesh and blood embodiment of the goddess of death the energy of the universe that's fierce dark and chaotic the energy of the universe that is your worst nightmare Phyllis is than happy to join Walter in killing her husband to collect the money Of course for Phyllis killing her husband is much much than just murder and collecting from the insurance company Phyllis loves the killingThe writing is tight compressed and filled to the verbal brim with tension Here is an example of Walter Huff's reflection There's nothing so dark as a railroad track in the middle of the night The train shot ahead and I crouched there waiting for the tingle to leave my feet I had dropped off the left side of the train into the footpath between the tracks so there wouldn't be any chance I could be seen from the highway Hard boiled noir anyone?With Cain we have clear cut penetrating character descriptions Here is Huff describing one of the men he must deal with at his insurance company Keyes is head of the Claims Department a holdover from the old regime and the way he tell it young Norton the company president never does anything right He's big and fat and peevish and on top of that he's a theorist and it makes your head ache to be around him but he's the best claims man on the Coast and he was the one I was afraid ofThe end of the novel has Phyllis covering her face in chalk white with black circles under her eyes and with red on her lips and cheeks rapped in a hideous red silk scarf all ready to jump to her death from the ship she's traveling on into the ocean to jump at night and be torn apart by sharks under a full moon Walter who is also on the ship tells Phyllis he himself will join her in jumping from the ship under a full moon to be torn apart by sharks Walter finally understands this is what happens when you have evil intentions and ask the goddess of death to be your partner in crime Double Indemnity is James M Cain's unforgettable one of a kind classic

  10. Carol Carol says:

    OMG I cannot believe the ending Plain old downright great entertainment here from beginning to end with Cain's story of how to commit the perfect murder While I was totally engrossed in the telling there were a couple of times I had to stretch my imagination a bit but I loved it just the same and oh that endingraised my rating up a whole star

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Double Indemnity [KINDLE] ❦ Double Indemnity ➚ James M. Cain – DOUBLE INDEMNITY is the classic tale of an evil woman motivated by greed who corrupts a weak man motivated by lust Walter Huff is an insurance investigator like any other until the day he meets the be Double Indemnity is the classic tale of an evil woman motivated by greed who corrupts a weak man motivated by lust Walter Huff is an insurance investigator like any other until the day he meets the beautiful and dangerous Phyllis Nirdlinger and falls under her spell Together they plot to kill her husband and split the insurance It'll be the perfect murder THE AUTHOR James M Cain was born in Annapolis Maryland in Having served in the US Army in World War he became a journalist in Balti and New York in the 's He later worked as a screenwriter in Hollywood Cain died in .