Double Indemnity

Double Indemnity ★★★★★


Every once in a while, I come across a movie that feels emblematic of its genre. This doesn't necessarily mean that they are the absolute best film in that genre, but whenever I try to think of a genre, a movie or two will instantly come to my mind. When it came to classic film noir, The Third Man was always the movie that I thought of first, but now, I'm very sure that I'll be thinking of Double Indemnity right alongside it. It's been a while since I've watched anything from Billy Wilder, as the only other film of his that I've seen was Sunset Boulevard, but if any of them are as good as Double Indemnity, then I need to see more from him really soon.

There isn't a single aspect of Double Indemnity that I don't think is terrific, but I'd say that its greatest strength would be its brilliant script. Watching the slick Walter Neff and the elusive Phyllis Dietrichson try to commit the perfect crime and get away with it was riveting from start to finish, especially thanks to the snappy, hard-boiled dialogue and just how unpredictable the movie got. Wilder's direction perfectly complimented the excellent screenplay, as the underlying tension that built up throughout the film was perfectly communicated through the starkly lit cinematography and the sleazy atmosphere of the L.A. setting. The acting from everyone was incredible, as it strengthened the already well written characters. I loved every minute of Double Indemnity, and while The Third Man is still my favorite classic noir movie, this film definitely isn't that far behind.

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