Directed by Billy Wilder
I never thought that a film about an insurance salesman could be so interesting. Goes to show how much I know. Course, this is one of those “infamous” films, (like so many other ones that I’ve been watching lately) so it’s no real surprise that it was good, only that, it was about an insurance salesman and still good. Truthfully, I knew nothing about this film going into, other than that it was a famous film noir. And when it comes to movies like this (read: the classics) I’m a firm believer that the less you know, the more you will enjoy it. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told (or taught) about a classic film, that it was A) good and for reasons B) C) and D) only to watch the film and end up being disappointed for reason E) Over-hype.
Thankfully, that wasn’t the case with this film. I knew very little going in and ended up enjoying it very much coming out. “Double Indemnity” is a perfect example of how to take completely unheroic characters and still craft a film that is intense, heart-felt, and humours. (Ironically enough, if I were pitching this film to a friend, those three characteristics would be the B) C) and D) of the above paragraph.) But with a script written by both Billy Wilder and Raymond Chandler, could you really expect any less? Okay, so maybe these two men loathed each other while they wrote it, but I have lately come into the mind-set (I say lately, but I mean more like… I have lately become more firm in my belief that) adverse conditions does the best art make. Heartbreak, loneliness, jealousy, and resentment, for us artists that’s the stuff that dreams are made of. (Or crafted out of, I should say.) Bottom line: If you like thrilling film noir, watch this film.