Double Indemnity

Double Indemnity ★★★★

Raymond Chandler assisting as the co-screenwriter from a novel by James M. Cain.  Wow.
     
The classic tale of an unhappy wife seducing an accomplice to help murder her husband gets the all-star film noir treatment in the hands of director, Billy Wilder.  It is an engrossing show.
     
Reportedly, Barbara Stanwyck had reservations about playing a woman so incredibly unsympathetic.  Reservations or not, she is superb.
    
Wilder also had difficulty in finding the right accomplice, though Fred MacMurray nails the role with an undercurrent of detestability that would arise again in THE CAINE MUTINY.
     
Edward G. Robinson is a delight in one of his best roles.  I've worked in an insurance company, and his Claims Examiner does exist.
    
I have one difficulty with the picture, and it is when Robinson's character is won-over.  The evidence for his first theory is definitely there.  However, his buying-in to the second theory is much, much too thin.  Instinct can go only so far for a Claims Examiner.
     
Even so, this is quite a good movie with wonderfully crisp and sassy dialogue, and performances that stick with the Viewer long after the film ends.
    
BODY HEAT, a much later film noir production, certainly owed a lot to DOUBLE INDEMNITY.  Still, even without the latter film's nudity, Barbara Stanwyck showed how sexuality could be played upon the screen.  Who would give up almost anything for her?  Pretty much any red-blooded American male.
    
This is definitely a film on the "must see" list.

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