Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Double Indemnity (1944)
Directed by: Billy Wilder
Starring: Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward G. Robinson
This film was brilliant from start to finish. From the opening credits with Fred MacMurray on crutches, to the great final scene in the doorway. MacMurray, known for being a fatherly figure on a family sitcom, gives an unexpectedly dark performance, yet he also he also delivers some of the funnier lines in the movie. The witty back and forth banter between the characters make this movie stand out. Some of the smartest dialogue I've heard in a long while. Kudos to the scriptwriters.
My favourite heart-stopping moment was when the door buzzer rang at just the wrong moment. That simple sound instilled fear into the audience's heart, for the dangers it posed to MacMurray's character. Some of the scenes were tenser than most thrillers these day. I was literally on the edge of my seat for much of the film, and it's been a long time since a movie did this to me. The way the murders were portrayed on screen were truly creative, and worked perfectly.
Favourite Scene: I have three.
1. The opening scene where Neff sits down in his office and starts recording his story for Keyes. Fred MacMurray's pained expression, as well as his deliverance of the first few lines of the movie, intrigued me for the rest of it.
2. The actual murder scene in the car all the way to the body being dumped on the tracks. I really felt like I was an accomplice in the crime, which invested me in the fates of the characters.
3. Anytime Fred MacMurray lit a match with his thumb. So cool!
Very highly recommended for those of you don't give black and white movies a chance. This will change your mind. It's a classic that has no trouble holding up to today's standards.
Double Indemnity, I love you too.