Double Indemnity 1944 ★★★★½

Near perfect and most enjoyable 'noir' with Barbara Stanwyck on top form. Fred MacMurray didn't seem to do much hard edged stuff like this and I've no idea why. His early scenes with Stanwyck when the Chandler script (after James M Cain) really sparkles are fantastic and if they wane there is soon the exchanges between him and Edward G. to take their place. Not that Stanwyck ever ceases to sizzle but the crackling and red hot dialogue does ease up. One of the great things about this site is that it encourages me to re-visit old favourites so I can write them up and bring them into my listed films. Great stuff!

6 Comments

  • Love this and the remake (Body Heat).

  • Now, that's a great idea, reckon I shall watch Body Heat again- thanks!

  • I liked this as well. The initial dialog was something else (the speeding exchange) and prompted me to read a little Hard-Boiled fiction, but the ending eased up on the hard edge and disappointed me a bit.

  • I think that's true but don't start me on the hard boiled fiction. I was led to the books and now have a massive collection of US forties and fifties paperbacks. Interesting how many of those writers adapted the work of others for the screen. The noir films can be great and are often good, the books are usually quite amazing.

  • Agreed! I remember seeing the "making of" documentary for this film... how Cain was busy with another ("Mildred Pierce" maybe), so Chandler stepped in. And how he and Billy Wilder got along... hehe

    This film would not have been nearly as good without Chandler's rat-a-tat dialog, so its a good thing he got pulled in.

  • Absolutely, although I must say, taking advantage of some London sunshine this afternoon, I took the opportunity of reading the original Cain novella and it is remarkable how at least the first third is almost identical to the movie.

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