A look at movies where the insurance industry has had a starring role
On a slightly lighter note – with the Academy Awards having taken place on Sunday, February 26th, Agency Checklists thought it might be fun to highlight those movies, past and present, in which insurance and the insurance industry has played a starring role.
The movies below have been selected without an official method and so the list is highly subjective. We have seen some of the films selected, but by no means have we seen them all. With that said, if you have a favorite “insurance-themed” movie we have missed or would like to comment on, please feel free to join the conversation below in our comments section.
On a final note, a few interesting facts and trivia questions about the list –
- First, both Billy Wilder and Fred McMurray seemed to have been drawn to insurance-themed movies and
- Second, one of these insurance classics was based in Boston, do you know which one?
- Third, two of the stars in the films below are Massachusetts natives – one born in Cambridge and the other in Newton, do you know which ones they are?
Which one is your favorite?
Lloyd’s of London (1936)
Tyrone Power stars as Jonathan Blake, a waiter at Lloyd’s Coffee House in the early days of the shipping insurance firm Lloyd’s of London. Determined to make something of himself, he joins a Lloyd’s syndicate and becomes rich and successful. Ultimately, he ends up being able to help his childhood friend, Lord Nelson to help win the Battle of Trafalgar by keeping the ships’ insurance rates down. In addition to Tyrone Power, the film also starred Madeleine Carroll and Freddie Bartholomew.
Double Indemnity (1944)
“From the moment they met it was Murder!”, says the poster for one of the quintessential film noirs of the 1940’s. With a screenplay by Billy Wilder and Raymond Chandler and starring Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck and Edward G. Robinson, Double Indemnity is the tale of an insurance salesman who meets a wife looking to murder her husband. After making the death of the husband look like an accident to collect double indemnity from their murder/insurance fraud scheme, they arouse the interest of Edward G. Robinson playing the part of an insurance claims investigator.
Alias Jesse James (1959)
Bob Hope stars in the comedy as Milford Farnsworth, “a bumbling insurance agent who unknowingly sells a life insurance policy to the outlaw Jesse James. Farnsworth is sent out West to protect the insurance company’s investment by “protecting” James.” – Wikipedia
The Apartment (1960)
Jack Lemmon, as the ambitious C.C. Baxter tries to climb the corporate ladder at Consolidated Life by letting the higher-ups use his apartment for extra-marital liaisons with complications and a romance of his own following suit. The 1960 classic, also by Billy Wilder, features Jack Lemmon and Fred McMurray (yes, the same one) and Shirley MacLaine in the titles roles.
The Thomas Crown Affair (1968 & 1999)
A debonair, adventuresome bank executive believes he has pulled off the perfect multi-million-dollar heist, only to match wits with a sexy insurance investigator who will do anything to get her man. Directed by Norman Jewison, The Thomas Crown Affair stars Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway.
A 1999 remake features Pierce Brosnan and Rene Russo in the titles roles. Faye Dunaway also makes an appearance in this version, this time as Mr. Crown’s shrink.
Evil Under The Sun (1982)
In this British film starring Peter Ustinov, Hercule Poirot is sent by an insurance company to an exclusive island resort in order to find out how a millionaire wound up with a phony diamond. After a murder occurs there, all the rich and famous guests become suspects.
The Rainmaker (1997)
A young underdog lawyer takes on an insurance company in this Francis Ford Coppola movie based on John Grisham’s 1995 novel. This was one of Matt Damon’s first starring roles.
Catherine Zeta-Jones, an insurance investigator with Waverly Insurance, is sent undercover to track down international art thief Sean Connery. After gaining his confidence by posing as a thief herself, the master thief takes her into his confidence to steal a priceless Chinese mask from a well-guarded palace. The plot moves the two around the world with ensuing complications, intrigue and a twist-ending.
The Truman Show (1998)
A satirical comedy predating the advent of reality TV, the Truman Show stars Jim Carrey as Truman Burbank, an insurance salesman/adjuster who discovers in his 30th year that his entire life is actually a television show.
In this dual narrative, Leonard, an ex-insurance investigator attempts to discover who murdered his wife. Suffering from anterograde amnesia (short-term memory loss), however, he must rely on notes, tattoos and other mementos to keep track of information as he searches for her killer.
While we said ten movies, it’s actually eleven after we found this recent film in which Antonio Banderas is an insurance agent for a robotics corporation. A sign of things to come?
Antonio Banderas stars as Jacq Vaucan, an insurance agent of the ROC robotics corporation “who investigates cases of robots violating their primary protocols against altering themselves. What he discovers will have profound consequences for the future of humanity.” – IMDb