Resolutions 2014: Double Indemnity

double indemnity 2

He dedicated four hours to Gone With the Wind, he took time out of his busy schedule to watch A Clockwork Orange (even though he didn’t end up loving it…sorry, buddy), and now he’s back for another one! I am absolutely astounded and thrilled at MovieRob‘s enthusiasm for Resolutions 2014. So, once again, I give you the brilliant Mr. MovieRob and his third film resolution–Double Indemnity!

double indemnity

“You know, you, uh, oughta take a look at the statistics on suicide some time. You might learn a little something about the insurance business.” – Barton Keyes

Number of Times Seen – 1 (20 Jan 2014)

Brief Synopsis – An insurance salesman and a married woman conspired to “do away” with her husband through an insurance scam/murder.

My Take on it – This is another movie that I have avoided for a long time since I didn’t really think it would be any good.

Boy was I wrong!!

I actually temporarily forgot that Billy Wilder is such a great writer and director and once you add in the fact that famed noir paperback novelist Raymond Chandler was co-writing this script, it is hard to not have a great movie.

Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck (in an atrocious blonde wig) play the main characters and once their sinister plot is set in play, it is quite easy to believe that they will cover their tracks so well that it’s not possible for them to get caught.

The conversations that the two of them have show how careful and cautious these two individuals really are.

The only part I found somewhat far-fetched was how fast MacMurray falls in love with her.

The best character here is by far Edward G. Robinson who plays MacMurray’s boss (an insurance investigator) who steals every scene he is in with his witty dialogue and his suspicious mind. He even gives a two minute monologue on forms of suicide that is delivered superbly.

This movie somehow inexplicitly lost Best Picture to Going My Way (1944) which is by far a much weaker (although more upbeat) movie.

The twists and turns in the plot move so smoothly that every time you think you know what is going to happen, you are hit with something else from the opposite direction.

The movie is told mostly in a flashback style narrative which gives us an even more pronounced noir style since MacMurray is telling us the story.

There are very few thrillers from that day and age that are better that this one.

Bottom Line – Great thriller that has nice twists and turns throughout. Great plot by Chandler and dialogue by Wilder. Highly recommended

Rating – Oscar Worthy

Rob, what more can I say? Your blog is awesome, you are awesome, and I think the fact that you have participated in this series three times earns you lifetime cool points. Thank you thank you thank you!!! Seriously, people, if you haven’t already, definitely follow his blog. Another guest resolution is going up tomorrow! And if you still want to try to fulfill a resolution of your own, you can send it to cs227@evansville.edu. 🙂

P.S. I am probably going to be M.I.A. for most of the weekend, so if I fail to reply to comments and/or neglect your blog, don’t worry–I haven’t died, and I’m not ignoring you. Just at a cousin’s wedding. 🙂 Have a great weekend, everybody!

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27 thoughts on “Resolutions 2014: Double Indemnity

  1. NO! I was literally going to write up a Resolution on this movie! I spent too long getting around to it!

    Great review. The ‘falling in love straight away’ thing is also a problem in the book, if I remember.

  2. Rob, I’m surprised that you hadn’t seen this one before. It is an excellent film. I agree with what you thought about Going My Way, but you have to think about how the world was back then. There is no way that they would have let a movie about murdering one’s husband be the best picture of the year. If you liked Edward G. Robinson, you should go back and watch just about anything else that he made. Just about all of the old gangster movies that he made were just plain awesome. Some good ones include: A Slight Case of Murder (1938), Bullets or Ballots (1936), Smart Money (1931), Little Caesar (1931), Brother Orchid (1940), Scarlet Street (1945), A Bullet for Joey (1955), Key Largo (1948), The Woman in the Window (1944), The Stranger (1946), Larceny Inc. (1942), The Cincinnati Kid (1965). Really, the list goes on and on. I went through a period of time when I was only watching old Edward G. Robinson movies, Humphrey Bogart movies, or James Cagney movies. Those three guys combined for all sorts of amazing movies. It’s always good to see a review of a classic movie, good job!

    • Thanks Brock!

      Yeah, I know that with the whole war thing, they needed something lighthearted, but still….

      Murder is always a good subject for movies (especially when done right) 🙂

      Only saw The Cincinnati Kid of all those you mentioned and I don’t recall it being so great. Guess I’ll have to re-watch it and maybe some of the others you mentioned.

      appreciate the comment

      • Well, if you didn’t like it, then it might not be worth a re-watch. I just was listing off old ones that were worth seeing.

        It’s true, murder never gets old. Keep up the good work!

    • As always, very happy to have you, Rob! I’m thrilled that you’ve had to much fun with this, and all of your posts have been FANTASTIC! So, once again, thank YOU! 😀

  3. Reblogged this on MovieRob and commented:
    The marvelous Cara at Silver Screen Serenade once again let me join in on her Resolutions 2014 – Check out my review of Double Indemnity (1944).
    Thanks again Cara!

  4. Nice work! This was the first movie we saw in my first film class in undergrad. It’s sort of a nice introduction to filmmaking in that way. I love the noir genre, and this is one of the best two or three noirs made in the 40s, in my humble opinion. Glad you appreciated it too!

  5. Pingback: Resolutions 2014: Double Indemnity |

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