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August 30, 2006

Double Indemnity - 7

I love old films. The main reason for this is that storytelling seemed to be more of an art before the 1970's. Somewhere in there the shift to a more consumer driven filmmaking diluted the pool of good storytelling.
This film is directed by Billy Wilder who is unafraid to take on any genre (The Apartment, Sunset Boulevard, Sabrina, The Lost Weekend, Stalag 17, Some Like it Hot, and The Seven Year Itch - all of which I have seen), this film being noir. He has one of the best track records in Hollywood. This film is about an insurance salesman who conspires to kill the husband of the 'femme fatale' that he has fallen for. The film follows the perfect crime and it looks as though they could get away with it. The problem with crimes that involve a conspiracy is that there is always fear that the others will not be as strong as oneself. The reason for doing the crime soon loses its promise and guilt starts to work itself up into consternation. The film has some good plot twists and the dialogue is once again great.
Thanks to Jason for recommending Wilder's films.

1 comment:

Jason said...

I ALMOST bought the special edition of this tonight, but I ended up getting some other noir-ish films I haven't seen.

Anywho, if you ever get a chance, read the novella this was based on (by James M. Cain). It's great. The screenplay was also done by one of my favorite novelists, Raymond Chandler. This is, by the way, considered by many to be the first true American film noir.