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Location Sleuth – 'Double Indemnity'

October 18, 2009 |  8:00 am

The Home Section featured the “Double Indemnity” house, now owned by Mae Brunken. I thought it would be interesting to compare the actual home with the way it was re-created as a set.

The script describes it as " Spanish craperoo in style, as is the house throughout. A wrought-iron staircase curves down from the second floor. A fringed Mexican shawl hangs down over the landing. A large tapestry hangs on the wall. Downstairs, the dining room to one side, living room on the other side visible through a wide archway. All of this, architecture, furniture, decorations, etc., is genuine early Leo Carrillo period."

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Double Indemnity Home
Photograph by Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times

Above, the actual interior of the “Double Indemnity” house.

Double Indemnity Still

A screen grab from the film. Notice that in duplicating the home, art directors Hans Dreier and Hal Pereira added a window on the staircase.
Double Indemnity Home Staircase
Photograph by Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times

Above, the staircase in the “Double Indemnity” house.

Double Indemnity Still
A screen grab showing the staircase in the set built for “Double Indemnity.” Notice that the delicacy of the original has been replaced with a heavier style of work. Also notice that the plaster is finished much more roughly than in the actual home, presumably so that the texture would be evident on film. 

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