Double Indemnity

Double Indemnity quotes

43 total quotes (ID: 750)

Barton Keyes
Multiple Characters
Phyllis Dietrichson
Walter Neff


That was all there was to it. Nothing had slipped, nothing had been overlooked, there was nothing to give us away. And yet, Keyes, as I was walking down the street to the drugstore, suddenly it came over me that everything would go wrong. It sounds crazy, Keyes, but it's true, so help me. I couldn't hear my own footsteps. It was the walk of a dead man.


That was the longest night I ever lived through, Keyes, and the next day was worse when the story broke in the papers and they started talking about it at the office. And the day after that when you started digging into it. I kept my hands in my pockets because I thought they were shaking. I put on dark glasses so people couldn't see my eyes. Then I took them off again so they wouldn't get to wondering why I wore them. I tried to hold myself together but I could feel my nerves pulling me to pieces.

Office memorandum. 'Walter Neff to Barton Keyes, Claims Manager, Los Angeles, July 16, 1938. 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 you are. But let's take a look at that Dietrichson claim, Accident and Double Indemnity. You were pretty good in there for a while, Keyes. You said it wasn't an accident. Check. You said it wasn't suicide. Check. You said it was murder. Check. You thought you had it cold, didn't you? All wrapped up in tissue paper with pink ribbons around it. It was perfect - except it wasn't, because you made one mistake. Just one little mistake. When it came to picking the killer, you picked the wrong guy. You want to know who killed Dietrichson? Hold tight to that cheap cigar of yours, Keyes. I killed Dietrichson - me, Walter Neff, insurance salesman, 35 years old, unmarried, no visible scars... [He glances down at his shoulder wound.] - until a while ago, that is. Yes, I killed him. I killed him for money and for a woman. I didn't get the money and I didn't get the woman. Pretty, isn't it?'

I picked you for the job, not because I think you're so darn smart, but because I thought you were a shade less dumb than the rest of the outfit. Guess I was wrong. You're not smarter, Walter... you're just a little taller.

You sure carried that ball. Only you fumbled on the goal line. Then you heaved an illegal forward pass and got thrown for a forty-yard loss. Now you can't pick yourself up because you haven't got a leg to stand on.

This Dietrichson business. It's murder, and murders don't come any neater. As fancy a piece of homicide as anybody ever ran into. Smart, tricky, almost perfect - but...I think Papa has it all figured out.

Murder is never perfect. It always comes apart sooner or later. When two people are involved, it's usually sooner. Now we know the Dietrichson dame is in it and the 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, it doesn't matter. They can't keep away from each other. They may think it's twice as safe because there are 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've 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.

It sounds wonderful. Just strangers beside you. You don't know them and you don't hate them. You don't have to sit across the table and smile at him and that daughter of his every morning of your life...He thinks a lot more of her than he does of me.

It'll be the train, Walter, just the way you want it. Straight down the line.

I don't know anything. In fact, I don't know why I came here...When I came in here, I had no idea you owed me any money. You told me you did. Then you told me you didn't. Now you tell me you want to pay me a part of it, whatever it is. You want to bargain with me at a time like this. I don't like your insinuations about my husband and I don't like your methods. In fact, I don't like you, Mr. Norton.

Porter: [referring to insurance] They wouldn't ever sell me any. They said I had something loose in my heart.

Lola Dietrichson: I caught her eyes in a mirror. They had that look in them they had before my mother died. That same look...I loathe her. Because she did it. She did it for the money. Although you're not going to pay it, are you, Mr. Neff? She is not going to get away with it this time, because I'm going to speak up. I'm going to tell everything I know.

Stanwyck and MacMurray. Phyllis: Mr. Neff, why don't you drop by tomorrow evening about eight-thirty. He'll be in then.
Walter Neff: Who?
Phyllis: My husband. You were anxious to talk to him weren't you?
Walter Neff: Yeah, I was, but I'm sort of getting over the idea, if you know what I mean.
Phyllis: There's a speed limit in this state, Mr. Neff. Forty-five miles an hour.
Walter Neff: How fast was I going, officer?
Phyllis: I'd say around ninety.
Walter Neff: Suppose you get down off your motorcycle and give me a ticket.
Phyllis: Suppose I let you off with a warning this time.
Walter Neff: Suppose it doesn't take.
Phyllis: Suppose I have to whack you over the knuckles.
Walter Neff: Suppose I bust out crying and put my head on your shoulder.
Phyllis: Suppose you try putting it on my husband's shoulder.
Walter Neff: That tears it. [He takes his hat and briefcase after his advances are coldly rebuffed.] 8:30 tomorrow evening, then.
Phyllis: That's what I suggested.
Walter Neff: You'll be here too?
Phyllis: I guess so, I usually am.
Walter Neff: Same chair, same perfume, same anklet?
Phyllis: I wonder if I know what you mean.
Walter Neff: I wonder if you wonder.

Phyllis: I'm a native Californian. Born right here in Los Angeles.
Walter Neff: They say all native Californians come from Iowa.

Keyes: What kind of an outfit is this, anyway? Are we an insurance company or just a bunch of dim-witted amateurs to write a policy on a mug like that?
Neff: Now wait a minute, Keyes. I don't rate this beef. I clipped a note to that Garlopis application to have him thoroughly investigated before we accepted the risk.
Keyes: I know you did, Walter. I'm not beefing at you. It's the company. It's the way they do things. The way they don't do things. The way they'll write anything just to get it down on the sales sheet. And I'm the guy that has to sit here up to my neck in phony claims so they won't throw more money out the window than they take in at the door.
Neff: Okay, turn the record over and let's hear the other side.
Keyes: Well, I get darn sick of tryin' to pick up after a gang of fast-talking salesmen dumb enough to sell life insurance to a guy who sleeps in the same bed with four rattlesnakes. Walter, I've had twenty-six years of this and let me tell ya, I -
Neff: And you loved every minute of it, Keyes. You love it, only you worry about it too darn much, you and your little man.
Barton Keyes: Now that's enough out of you, Walter. Now get outta here before I throw my desk at you. [looks in his pocket for a match]
Walter Neff: [takes a match of his own and lights Keyes' cigar] I love you, too.
Walter Neff: [voiceover]I really did, too, you old crab. Always yelling your head off, always sore at everybody. You never fooled me with your song and dance, not for a second. I kinda always knew that behind all the cigar ashes on your vest was a heart as big as a house.