Monday, November 11, 2013
NOIRVEMBER: DOUBLE INDEMNITY
DOUBLE INDEMNITY (1944) Dir. Billy Wilder
Starring Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwick, Edward G. Robinson
Billy Wilder's third feature as a Hollywood director is also one of the greatest movies ever made. I love classic era film noir, it's really my favorite genre. But as much as anything, seeing Double Indemnity again makes me want to ditch my Noirvember list and just watch all the rest of of Wilder's films. He was one of the few true geniuses of movies. There's a cynicism that pervades his work that perfectly defines noir. Yet that same sensibility is found in his comedies and straight dramas. It's not just toughness and cynicism though, it's a cutting insight into people that he's able to bring across in his characters, no matter the genre. I have to credit Wilder's co-writer's too. Here it's legendary novelist Raymond Chandler and though they supposedly couldn't stand each other there's no evidence of this on screen.
I keep saying that Noir isn't about the surface style, it's about the dark characters and if that's what you're looking for, Double Indemnity is your movie. So much has been written about this film and it's so influential, there's probably not much I can add. See it if you haven't already. See it if you haven't lately. Just watch this movie.