Double Indemnity

Double Indemnity ★★★★★

For my money, this is the greatest film noir ever made. The story is set in motion with a clever metaphor - a car running through a stop sign. This leads to a hard boiled story of murder and deception. The way the film is set up instills a sense of foreboding over every sequence - it's brilliant storytelling, steeped in dramatic irony. The direction courtesy of the great Billy Wilder is absolutely flawless - and matched by an intelligent Raymond Chandler script that features some of the sharpest dialogue you will ever find. The central cast - Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck and Edward G. Robinson - are inch perfect in their respective roles. Everything about the film is shades of grey, with nothing as it seems. Even the Keyes character in seeking to uncover the fraud does so for personal gratification and financial reasons rather than any real dedication to the truth and justice. It's a story alien to any form of redemption but the final exchange with the line - "closer than that, Walter" gives the conclusion some heart. What a breathtakingly brilliant film this is. Genre defining and perfect in every way.

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