In House of Cards Season 5, there’s a key scene in which Frank and Claire Underwood watch a movie together at the White House. So what was this movie, exactly?
The movie that the Underwoods watch is Double Indemnity, a 1944 film directed by Billy Wilder. The fact that this was the movie being watched might actually be a massive bit of foreshadowing for what’s to come.
After all, Double Indemnity is about a woman who wants her husband dead, and so she plots to kill him. An insurance investigator then begins looking into the case, not convinced that the man’s death was an accident.
This would fit with the popular fan theory that Claire Underwood will conspire to have Frank killed so that she can become president. A lot of fans also believe that Tom Yates will be involved in the process, and Double Indemnity would fit with that, as in the movie, the woman conspires with another man to kill her husband.
In addition to being highly entertaining, Double Indemnity was an important marker in the history of film noir and helped shape the genre. It was praised by critics at the time and was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, and Best Screenplay. After Double Indemnity, many other similar films were released that clearly were inspired by it and attempting to emulate its success.
In the House of Cards scene, Claire and Frank Underwood have both seen Double Indemnity so many times that they are able to quote it word for word. It is established that this is a tradition of theirs, and they watch the movie before every one of their elections. In fact, Frank Underwood has become superstitious about it, worrying that they might lose if they don’t watch the movie this time.