Double Indemnity (1944)

This scene is where Walter realizes that Phyllis needs him to kill her husband. It takes place at Phyllis’ living room and Walter gets out from her house.

-MCU, straight on, low-key lighting, soft focus, short take. Walter talks to Phyllis. Phyllis’ back is showed a little on the right side of the frame. Her shadow lies on Walter’s shoulder.

-MCU, straight on, low-key lighting, soft focus, short take, reverse. Phyllis talks to Walter. Camera’s angle is a little different from the first shot; it shows the right side of Walter instead of his back.

-MCU, straight on, low-key lighting soft focus, short take, reverse. Camera closed up more this time compare to the first shot. Walter talks to Phyllis.

-MS, straight on, low-key lighting. After Phyllis and Walter exchange some words, Walter gets up from the couch and the camera follows Walter’s movement; he is leaving.

-LS, straight on, low-key lighting. Phyllis says, “What’s the matter?” and Walter looks back; he does not turn back completely. It shows the backside of Phyllis’ body again. There are lines that looks like a curtain behind Walter and Phyllis; it looks like the lines are separating them.

-MS, straight on. Camera focuses on Walter, he walks close to Phyllis and talks. It still shows the back of Phyllis. There’s another line that “separates” them: the edge of the wall.


-LS, straight on, low-key lighting. Camera still focuses on Walter. It shows out-focused back of Phyllis, she looks Walter leaving after he puts his hat on. There is his shadow on the wall when he opens the door to leave. Non-diegetic sound starts.


-LS, non-diegetic sound with Walter’s narration. He gets out from her house and get on the car. Camera follows his movement. The shot dissolves to the next shot.


In this scene, there is an intense usage of reverse shot since Walter and Phyllis have a conversation. We also see the “separation” by the lines between them. I think the director, Wilder wanted to stress the fact that this intellectual, genuine man, Walter is not tempted to the offer Phyllis propose yet. Walter has represented clearly his mind to Phyllis’ propose without hesitation. Walter has conflicts/disagreements with Phyllis in this scene even though he changes later on and works together to commit the murder.




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1 thought on “Analysis#1

  1. This was very short and to the point. I believe it could have used a little more detail, but then again it was a very short scene so there wasn’t much to say for each shot I suppose. I liked the use of the word non-diegetic, I haven’t seen that in anyone else’s analysis.

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