AFI #29 – Double Indemnity

Double IndemnityDouble Indemnity

1944

Directed by Billy Wilder

Netflix says… Smitten insurance man Walter Neff plots the perfect murder with femme fatale client Phyllis Dietrichson: staging her husband’s “accidental” death to collect double indemnity on his life insurance and absconding with the loot.

It seems my fate to catch up on all the great film noir that I’ve never seen before. A couple weeks back it was The Maltese Falcon. Now it’s this. And I think, maybe, the genre is growing on me. Maybe I just liked this better than The Maltese Falcon. I liked Fred McMurray’s narration throughout. I liked the descriptive language he used in his narration… “She cried softly, like the rain on the window…” Good stuff. But here’s the thing, as good as Walter Neff is with words, he’s stupid. Developing a dangerous infatuation for some dame who makes it clear from the start she wants her husband dead. How is it not obvious to this guy that she’s using him, an insurance salesman, to get her husband’s insurance money?

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