Double Indemnity

Double Indemnity ★★★★★

Third viewing, no change in rating; last seen 2019. Before that, though, I hadn't seen Double Indemnity since college in 2000, when I discovered it in a film noir class—along with M, it was one of the first movies to pique my intrigue in cinema, although I didn't truly fall in love with the medium until the LoTR trilogy began in December 2001. 20+ years later, I'm still floored by how effortlessly constructed this thing is—unlike so many movies of its ilk, it just avoids anything resembling a false note. Seriously. I can't think of one. Its ambiance is moody, tense and crackling; its pacing is smooth yet intense. MacMurray, Robinson, Stanwyck (especially), the entire cast; perfect performances, perfect chemistry. A calculating, smoking femme Fatale? Check. The pacing? Flawless, with a relentless script that never lets up. And the ending? Avoids any semblance of hokiness; everyone who warrants it, really, gets theirs but I'm not sure I'd call anybody a real winner unless you, sadly, want to give that honor to an insurance company. Just the definition of a masterpiece; perhaps not ambitious enough to reach the true upper echelons but within its tier/genre, it's as exceptional as it gets. Could happily watch it monthly with no complaints.

PRO (+)

(Part of why I popped it on was that I'd just seen Body Heat and read that it was, at least loosely, inspired by Double Indemnity, so I thought it was the perfect time to give it another look before jotting down some notes on the former. I definitely see it and doubt it would have clicked at all had I not seen it mentioned elsewhere; there are some significant differences, but the influence is evident. I'll talk a bit more about this when I get to jotting down some notes on that log entry.)

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