Gabe Watches the Classics XXXV: Double Indemnity
Good grief, this has film noir written all over it. Oodles of self-narration, complete with turns away from the scene and towards the camera. A femme fatale whose sex appeal is established right away, almost the whole story told in a flashback…
And like film noir, it’s a sign of the times in how people act. Walter Neff the protagonist, is a jerk to women. Then again, weren’t most men in the 1930s?
He also falls for Phyllis Dietrichson a bit too quickly (and she for him). All it takes is two meetings which can’t have lasted longer than an hour total and poof, they’re head over heels. To the point of conspiracy, even.
Yes, there’s a murder plot here. Isn’t there always in film noir? This is a surprisingly elaborate one too; only Vertigo comes to mind as a more oddball premise.
I found myself looking the Barton Keyes character more. Jerk with a Heart of Gold to a T. I’d actually like to see this story retold from his perspective.
I really liked the scoring in this one. Right mix of broody and moody.
If people ask what film noir is, show them this film. It’s the archetype. Alternatively, show them Whose Line’s film noir scenes. Either one works.
I hope I can avoid this genre for the rest of the year. Getting tiresome.
Final thought: There was such a thing at drive-in restaurants that served beer?! Holy irresponsibility!