Double Indemnity

Double Indemnity ★★★½

Now we're talking. This classic noir film which helped set the standard for the genre hits every desirable beat in its deceptively simple plot. Crafty insurance agent meets femme fatale who wants out of her abusive marriage and concocts a plan for them to both become rich (and for the agent to win the girl), if he'll only kill the husband and make it look like an accident.

Easily the best of the Billy Wilder films I'd seen to this point, Double Indemnity looks starkly wonderful, is perfectly paced at a breezy 108 minutes and packs a couple of quality punches late in the piece. Every one occupies their role believably, with Barbara Stanwyck appropriately breathless and alluring, and Fred MacMurray a great smarter-than-most character who comes to realise he's bitten off more than he can chew. (And it was a delight to recently learn that the original Shazam comic book character was based on the look of MacMurray).

Many of these old films I've watched over the last couple of months have been disappointing, but Double Indemnity is a film worthy of the term "classic".

3.5 Co-Conspirators to Throw Under the Bus for Double Indemnity.

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