I watch a ton of movies, but there are still a ton of movies I need to watch. I usually call these flicks “homework”, because I believe to appreciate what you watch now, you have to watch the influential movies of the past, too. For the most part, I don’t mind the homework as I tend to dig just about anything. (Of course there are exceptions like the intolerable Citizen Kane, which I have yet to finish).

Anywho, tonight I decided to do a little homework in the form of some Double Indemnity. All I can say is WOW!

It truly amazes me that as much as I like pulp fiction (the books, not the movie), I am so uneducated in film noir. It really is right up my alley. The fast talking, the quick wit, the manly men. It’s what entertainment is all about.

Fred MacMurray stars in this flick as insurance agent Walter Neff, who gets caught up in the deceitful web of femme fatale Phyllis Dietrichson (played wonderfully by Barbara Stanwyck). The two connive to take out a life insurance policy on her husband without his knowledge and, of course, kill him for the duckets — no worries, all of this is explained in the first few minutes of the film. Like in real life, nothing goes as planned.

Throw in a brilliant performance by Edward G. Robinson as Neff’s boss, Keyes (who steals every scene he’s in), and you have one helluva flick.

Awesome movie.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BpV0MZoAzxM
  • Yeah, you really should check out more Film Noir. (and haha, you said you like manly men).

    Anyway, the first Warner Film Noir box set is where it's at. It's got 5 kickass movies with a personal favorite of mine being The Asphalt Jungle. You should also look up some early Kubrick in The Killer's Kiss (which is OK) and The Killing (which is AWESOME).

  • Thanks, James. I'll look for that at the next second spin/wherehouse sale. And, yes, if I was a skirt, old Fred MacMurray would have had me all moist last night. He was a bad mofo.

  • Jared

    I love Citizen Kane. I have watched it many many times. Everytime I am still amazed at the amazing camera work, the great acting and the really good writing (won an oscar for the writing).

    Have you watched Touch of Evil? That is a fun one. Charleton Heston plays a mexican. Great dark movie.

  • Touch of Evil is tonight (I'm debating on which version to watch, as I have three to chose from. I will probably go with the wannabe director's cut.

    Re: Kane.

    Ug. I can understand it's importance in film history, but I think it gets too much credit. That's not to say it's overrated, because it deserves the attention. I believe it's okay to say it was a technological achievement but a shitty ass movie.

  • Jared

    I still enjoy it. My personal favorite moment is Joseph Cotton talking about the woman in white. Brilliant stuff. So what is the update on touch of evil. The version I watched was cheap and I think the dvd packaging was very blue.

  • ZigZag

    Welles is pretty amazing. Check out THE THIRD MAN.
    On another note-
    You think you're getting hot now… wait until you see RICHARD WIDMARK in action!

    I have such sights to show you.

  • Sue

    I'll have to check out some of those movies. Man, I have so many things to catch up on.

  • Sue, you would really dig it, me thinks. It's sooooooo good.