Sunday, October 23, 2016

Double Indemnity (1944) Crime Doesn't Pay

Double Indemnity (1944) is one of those films that has been on my list of "must- see" classics and I have to didn't disappoint! From the opening scene to the end  Double Indemnity will keep the viewer on the edge of their seats.

Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray teamed up in four films together and Double Indemnity was their second of the four and probably their most well-known. Their other films include: Remember the Night (1940), The Moonlighter (1953), and There's Always Tomorrow (1956).  If you're a fan of this pairing, I urge you to watch Remember The Night if you're looking for a rare Christmas film.
Remember The Night(1940)

Insurance representative Walter Neff (MacMurray) meets the lovely Phyllis Dietrichson (Stanwyck) an unhappy wife who convinces Neff to murder her husband and commit insurance fraud. The film title Double Indemnity gets it's name from a clause found in most life insurance policies that state in the case of accidental death the insurance company will pay the beneficiary twice the value of the policy. Edward G. Robinson plays second fiddle to MacMurray's character Walter Neff as his best friend and mentor Barton Keyes. Keyes (Robinson) suspects Phyllis of plotting her husband's murder with another man...he just isn't sure who the man is.
Obviously, I don't condone adultery or murder, but writer/director Billy Wilder draws you in and before you know it you're immersed in the story wondering how it's going to end.

One aspect of this film that interested me was the lighting and the camera angles. I thought they were very cleverly done and enhanced the suspense of the film.

Fun Film Trivia: Double Indemnity was director Billy Wilder's first thriller.

According to the American Film Institute, Double Indemnity was ranked #29 on the Greatest Films of All Time in 2007.

Both Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck were reluctant to play such villainous role, but Wilder eventually convinced both actors.

Double Indemnity is one of the best examples of film noir and if this genre appeals to you I'd add this movie to your "must-see" list.

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