12 January, 2011
There's more than likely quite a number of well written and poignant essays on Double Indemnity, so I'll be brief (that's usually the conceit I use to be lazy).
Lately I've been on a noir/crime/thriller/whatever kick, so I've been trying to plow through as many classics as I can (I just broke the pattern by renting Kiki's Delivery Service, a Japanese cartoon about a witch who delivers mail). For whatever reason I thought this was a Hitchcock movie, when I found out that it wasn't, I wasn't disappointed though, since it's directed by Billy Wilder, co-written by Raymond Chandler, and is based off of the James M. Cain novel. That's a pretty lofty pedigree.
Luckily the movie is exactly as good as the credits would lead you to believe. The dialogue is top notch (if a bit cute, but it's film noir, so lay off), it's well acted, and beautifully shot (there's at least two or three really good scenes with venetian blinds in them, as you can see above). I don't have a whole lot else to say about the movie-- I mean, I could waste your time on it-- but it's Double Indemnity. It's one of the all-time, great pieces of film noir, if not one of the all-time, great pieces of cinema.
While it isn't my favorite Billy Wilder movie (which is Sunset Blvd, naturally), it's still awesome from beginning to end. I feel like a bit of a heel that I knew so little about it until last week.