Double Indemnity script
Synopsis: In this classic film noir, insurance salesman Walter Neff (Fred MacMurray) gets roped into a murderous scheme when he falls for the sensual Phyllis Dietrichson (Barbara Stanwyck), who is intent on killing her husband (Tom Powers) and living off the fraudulent accidental death claim. Prompted by the late Mr. Dietrichson's daughter, Lola (Jean Heather), insurance investigator Barton Keyes (Edward G. Robinson) looks into the case, and gradually begins to uncover the sinister truth.

FADE IN:

A-1 LOS ANGELES - A DOWNTOWN INTERSECTION

It is night, about two o'clock, very light traffic.

At the left and in the immediate foreground a semaphore

traffic signal stands at GO. Approaching it at about thirty

miles per hour is a Dodge 1938 coupe. It is driven erratically

and weaving a little, but not out of control.

When the car is about forty feet away, the signal changes to

STOP. Car makes no attempt to stop but comes on through.

A-2 A LIGHT NEWSPAPER TRUCK

is crossing the intersection at right angles. It swerves and

skids to avoid the Dodge, which goes on as though nothing

had happened. The truck stops with a panicky screech of tires.

There is a large sign on the truck: "READ THE LOS ANGELES

TIMES". The truck driver's infuriated face stares after the

coupe.

A-3 THE COUPE

continues along the street, still weaving, then slows down

and pulls over towards the curb in front of a tall office

building.

A-4 THE COUPE

stops. The headlights are turned off. For a second nothing

happens, then the car door opens slowly. A man eases himself

out onto the sidewalk and stands a moment leaning on the

open door to support himself. He's a tall man, about thirty-

five years old. From the way he moves there seems to be

something wrong with his left shoulder.

He straightens up and painfully lowers his left hand into

his jacket pocket. He leans into the car. He brings out a

light-weight overcoat and drapes it across his shoulders. He

shuts the car door and walks toward the building.

A-5 ENTRANCE OF THE BUILDING

Above the closed, double-plate glass doors is lettered:

"PACIFIC BUILDING". To the left of entrance there is a

drugstore, closed, dark except for a faint light in the back.

The man comes stiffly up to the doors. (CAMERA HAS MOVED UP

WITH HIM). He tries the doors. They are locked. He knocks on

the glass. Inside, over his shoulder, the lobby of the

building is visible: a side entrance to the drugstore on the

left, in the rear a barber shop and cigar and magazine stand

closed up for the night, and to the right two elevators. One

elevator is open and its dome light falls across the dark

lobby.

The man knocks again. The night watchman sticks his head out

of the elevator and looks toward entrance. He comes out with

a newspaper in one hand and a half-eaten sandwich in the

other. He finishes the sandwich on the way to the doors,

looks out and recognizes the man outside, unlocks the door

and pulls it open.

NIGHT WATCHMAN:

Hello there, Mr. Neff.

Neff walks in past him without answering.

A-6 INT. LOBBY

Neff is walking towards elevator. Night watchman looks after

him, relocks door, follows to elevator. Neff enters elevator.

A-7 ELEVATOR

Neff stands leaning against wall. He is pale and haggard

with pain, but deadpans as night watchman joins him.

NIGHT WATCHMAN:

Working pretty late aren't you, Mr.

Neff?

NEFF:

(Tight-lipped)

Late enough.

NIGHT WATCHMAN:

You look kind of all in at that.

NEFF:

I'm fine. Let's ride.

Night watchman pulls lever, doors close and elevator rises.

NIGHT WATCHMAN:

How's the insurance business, Mr.

Neff?

NEFF:

Okay.

NIGHT WATCHMAN:

They wouldn't ever sell me any. They

say I've got something loose in my

heart. I say it's rheumatism.

NEFF:

(Scarcely listening)

Uh-huh.

Night watchman looks around at him, turns away again and the

Rate this script:(5.00 / 1 vote)Say it

Billy Wilder

Billy Wilder was an Austrian-born American filmmaker, screenwriter, producer, artist and journalist, whose career spanned more than fifty years and sixty films. more…

All Billy Wilder scripts | Billy Wilder Books

FAVORITE (0 fans)

Translation

Translate and read this script in other languages:

Select another language:

Discuss this Double Indemnity script with the community:

Citation

Use the citation below to add this screenplay to your bibliography:

Style:MLAChicagoAPA

"Double Indemnity" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2017. Web. 13 Dec. 2017. <http://www.scripts.com/script/double_indemnity_65>.

We need you!

Help us build the largest writers community and scripts collection on the web!