Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Movie Review: "Double Indemnity"

I'm a complete and total movie buff. It's a big surprise to me that I hadn't seen Double Indemnity before tonight. I've seen the beginning when I was studying Film Noir in college (Minor in Film Studies), but I'd never sat down to watch it.

Now, I'm normally a Fred MacMurray fan. He's happy and kind and has a face you can trust. Why do you think he did so many Disney movies?
I'd believe this man to be an Insurance Agent I could trust
But in one of only two films that MacMurray said he actually had to act, I did not like him at all.  MacMurray's Walter Neff might have started off a mild-mannered insurance salesman, but did he do a 180 when Barbara Stanwyck batted her heavy eyelashes and said his name in her husky voice.

The plotline from IMDB for those who aren't familiar: "An insurance rep lets himself be talked into a murder/insurance fraud scheme that arouses an insurance investigator's suspicions." [source]

And the Trailer:

Now, this isn't to say I have to like him in absolutely everything I see him in. This just means he's a fantastic actor who really surprised me. Every time he called Barbara Stanwyck "Baby," I wanted to slap his misogynistic face (Seriously. Watch and tell me he doesn't sound misogynistic). He was the villain. He came up with the plan to kill Stanwyck's dull husband.

Or did he?

I honestly couldn't say if I've ever seen Barbara Stanwyck in anything (I know. I call myself a film buff. Trust me. The list of movies I've seen is probably longer than the ones I haven't), but she blew me away. She could attempt innocent and evil in the exact same scene (The face where she and MacMurray are killing her husband is chilling). She had me going through most of the movie. Definitely going to have to look her up and see more later. She and Fred did three other movies together. Time to look them up!

What I found interesting is how much Stanwyck reminded me of Kate Winslet. In voice, in how she carried herself. Even in looks. In The Holiday [2006], she even mentions how fabulous Barbara Stanwyck is to her adorable screenwriter neighbor/surrogate grandpa. Coincidence? Maybe.

Uncanny, isn't it?
All in all, I really liked it. I don't know that I'd watch it a lot (Noir films are kind of hard to watch just because they're so dark. Literally. Almost completely blacked out in scenes), but it was a good film. Just need to add Fred MacMurray to the list of men that I prefer in nice guy roles (also included is Bill Pullman, who was so chilling in Torchwood: Miracle Day, I'm still trying to recover. After MULTIPLE viewings of his RomComs).

1 comment:

  1. Interesting I will have to check it out!!! As for Kate Winslet and Barbara Stanwyck The pictures you posted they look similar but its hard to tell because they are different angles. I will have to judge for myself after watching it.