Double Indemnity

Double Indemnity ★★★★½

Despite the fact that I’ve only seen 2 of their films, I’ve come to expect a lot from Billy Wilder. They’ve made me leap with joy, they’ve shattered my heart, and they’ve riveted me with all kinds of thoughts and ideas. And apparently, as shown in exceptional style in Double Indemnity, they can thrill me to my very core as well. You are three for three Mr. Wilder, and I’m sure that number will only grow. 

What’s offered here is storytelling at its most seductive and explosive. Not for a second is this uninteresting as we’re dragged into the dark streets of LA with little hope of escape. It’s an inherently manipulative film—it’s just practically tied into the plot—and plays with its audience in whatever wicked way it can get away with. And it’s oh so watchable the whole way through. The dialogue is as sharp and smooth as anything I’ve seen in a Wilder script, and apparently I’ve got to pay attention to the work of co-writer Raymond Chandler as well. 

The whole thing is just so tightly wound. It’s a continuous puzzle, showcasing talent at every corner. It is a jaw dropping ride. Whenever anything just clicked, I became even more excited which I didn’t even know was possible. It’s a clever, sexy, and delectable treat that I thoroughly enjoyed for pretty much the entire runtime. I’m not the most familiar with noir films—I’ve barely seen any—but I’m already pretty confident that this is the gold standard.

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