copyright © Jedo Dre 2011

Double Indemnity is a smart movie for most part. I say for most part because it somehow assumes that the public does not know about fingerprint identification or the fact that strangulation leaves marks on a victims neck. The murder in this movie is handled rather poorly from a technical perspective. Everything else around it is sharp and interesting. The movie is smart on an emotional level more than on a technical level.

The main character dictates the story into a recorder, explaining what happened before each scene. He also explains straight from the start that he kills someone. You would think that this spoils the plot and any tension, but it does not, as the narrator only gives a brief description.

In fact, the movie become quite tense towards the second half. At the beginning you are shown the situation of the main character being wounded and all the way until the end of the film you have a but a faint idea of how it may have happened. The story is quite good at keeping you sucked in.

There are a couple of very good acting jobs here and a couple not so good ones. There is a gentleman, Richard Gaines, who plays the head of the insurance company. You do not see him for long but he had a very strange delivery of lines. Among the more well known actors is Edward Robinson (Little Caesar, Key Largo) as the claims adjuster and it is a delight to watch this sharp observant character. Barbara Stanwyck is the next strongest character as the main dame of the film, while the main male character played by Fred MacMurray is probably one of the weakest, with his typical film-noir delivery and saying "baby" all the time (quickly as if the word accidentally falls out of his mouth, like he is a Tourette's patient).

There is nothing particularly outstanding about the music or visuals, other than it is all competent. The movie is well paced; the tension is good and the writing is fine as long as you do not mind a little bit of 40s stylization, like when the lady stares up at the guy with teary eyes and the screen is blurry as the dramatic violins play. I am not a big fan of that, but there is no denying that Double Indemnity is one of the strongest femme fatale movies. Would I want to see it again though? No….No.

Double Indemnity