I watch a ton of movies, but there are still a ton of movies I need to watch. I usually call these flicks “homework”, because I believe to appreciate what you watch now, you have to watch the influential movies of the past, too. For the most part, I don’t mind the homework as I tend to dig just about anything. (Of course there are exceptions like the intolerable Citizen Kane, which I have yet to finish).
Anywho, tonight I decided to do a little homework in the form of some Double Indemnity. All I can say is WOW!
It truly amazes me that as much as I like pulp fiction (the books, not the movie), I am so uneducated in film noir. It really is right up my alley. The fast talking, the quick wit, the manly men. It’s what entertainment is all about.
Fred MacMurray stars in this flick as insurance agent Walter Neff, who gets caught up in the deceitful web of femme fatale Phyllis Dietrichson (played wonderfully by Barbara Stanwyck). The two connive to take out a life insurance policy on her husband without his knowledge and, of course, kill him for the duckets — no worries, all of this is explained in the first few minutes of the film. Like in real life, nothing goes as planned.
Throw in a brilliant performance by Edward G. Robinson as Neff’s boss, Keyes (who steals every scene he’s in), and you have one helluva flick.