Double Indemnity

Double Indemnity ★★★★½

Did you know there was a time when Hollywood hired real writers? I mean REAL writers, writers who were actual authors like John Steinbeck and Roald Dahl. Sure, they drove them to drink and sometimes ruined their lives (just ask Barton Fink) but you sure got a helluva screenplay. Synonymous with classic crime fiction, Raymond Chandler co-wrote Double Indemnity with director Billy Wilder and the results are dynamite in this film noir classic. The pacing and direction are rock solid, you can feel the looming tension breathing down Fred MacMurray's neck as he finds himself in too deep when partnering with Barbara Stanwyck in a deadly scheme of insurance fraud. Great script and lives up to its lofty reputation, save for 2 points: I didn't really care for the narration spilling the beans at the start and punctuating throughout, and the scheme seemed to unravel too quickly once a hunch was surmised. Otherwise a top-notch film which I've been wanting to see for years, and I'm always delighted when those don't disappoint.

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