Sunday, June 28, 2009

Double Indemnity

Double Indemnity is not my first Film Noir, but it is the first one I paid attention too -- that is the second time around. The first time I was a bit knackered and fell off about 20 mins in. Oops! I planned on watching it while I cleaned my living room, but found myself sitting and taking it all in, listening to every word, watching every shadow, never getting up to start cleaning.

I am not much of a Barbara Stanwyck fan and really only know Fred MacMurray from My Three Sons repeats on Nick at Nite. I do have to say that I am a bigger fan of Stanwyck in this movie than MacMurray. Not that he did a bad job or anything. Maybe I am just more attracted to the Black Widow character that Stanwyck played so well.

Some of my favourite scenes in the movie is when she first appeared on the staircase looking down at MacMurray. Modern movies reveal a lot more skin than just a towel wrapped body, but when I first saw her appear (the first time before I fell asleep) I believe I had the very same reaction that MacMurray's character, Neffs had to seeing her. It was incredibly sexy. Nothing was shown, yet the idea of being "caught" in your towel was a little intoxicating. I do think that the character Stanwyck was portraying knew exactly what she was doing even before she knew who was at the door. Even if she did look caught off guard or embaressed... she knew what she was doing. One doesn't unknowingly go to find out who is at the door if they are half nekked, unless they want a reaction -- and that is exactly what she got.

I also enjoyed how she successfully flirted with MacMurray all while acting in complete disgust at his advances. The speed limit dialog between the two was quick and genius. It was a skilled and clever interaction between the two that didn't rely on shock or insults to be intense.

My favourite part of the movie however was the look in Stanwyck's eyes while she stared straight forward in the car satisfied. I don't want to give away any part of the movie for those who haven't seen it, so I won't say much more than that. I will say that I wish I could have that look in my eyes, not for the same reason though. I just want to be that ridiculously satisfied.

To me I found the plot line to be quite interesting. It seemed more like a two part climax than a beginning, climax, end. It reminded me a bit of Law and Order and how each episode is done in two parts, the law or investigation of the crime and the order or trial of the crime. Double Indemnity successfully pulled off this 2 parter and left me thinking, "Yay! More!" instead of, "Ugh, more?"

The ending was especially perfect for me. While you get a sense of what happens and pretty much everyone says what happens, it is left open enough to where the ending could be a bit different. What really happened to Walter Neffs?

I don't have much more to say about this movie other than I really enjoyed it. I am not much of a Film Noir buff to be able to go into hard detail about the film and story so I won't even fake like I know.

I will like to say that after watching this movie... the term Femme Fatale is being thrown around quite loosely to these modern pinups who do a "film noir" style shoot. Putting a gun in their hand doesn't qualify them to be a femme fatale. I don't for one min believe that these girls are anything more than Pollyanna. They don't have that look in their eyes -- a deadly look. They need a bit more acting in their pictures and less looking pretty.


  1. I have been wanting to do my hair like hers in that movie for years. Oh yeah...and it's a great movie too!!!

  2. Funny you say that because all I have been reading and hearing is how bad that wig was and how it is one of teh regrets in the film.

  3. I love Double Indemnity! Fabulously acted. At first, it was hard to think of Fred MacMurray as anything but the Dad from My Three Sons, but he did spectacular in this film! And Barbara Stanwyck was a goddess!

  4. Love that movie too! That was a wig??

  5. Amanda... I know. Each time I watch it I can't help but sing the Theme...

    Mary Deluxe... Yup, a bad blonde wig.

  6. Haven't seen this one yet, but I'll have to check it out!

  7. I don't care that it was a wig...I want my hairz to do that!

  8. the term Femme Fatale is being thrown around quite loosely to these modern pinups who do a "film noir" style shoot

    BRAVO, bloody well said Ole Gal! Could't agree more!!

  9. I love Double Indeminity. Such a great movie. I loved the plot and I loved Barbara Stanwyck. She reminds me of Tea Leoni, a bit...

  10. 1. I definitely agree with you about the term 'femme fatale' being thrown around too much. Sigh.
    2. Oh, how I love this film!
    3. I love love love film noir. It's my favourite 'genre' (I use the term lightly in this case as many debate its existence as a genre) of film - well, along with musicals.
    -Andi B. Goode x

  11. great post honey! I love in Tucson, so we are neighbors. glad to find your blog :)