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Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Barbara Stanwyck can't find her groceries with her dark glasses on.
If you wanted to watch just one film to understand what FILM NOIR is, DOUBLE INDEMNITY would be it.   Released in 1944 by Paramount the film is directed by Billy Wilder with a story by Raymond Chandler-- himself a master of the genre.

Fred MacMurray plays a little bit of a sleazy insurance salesman who happens upon the sultry Barbara Stanwyck when he stops at the Los Angeles home of her husband-- an oil tycoon who seems to have lost interest in her.

Stanwyck lures MacMurray into a plan to murder her husband and collect the insurance money, but as with all good film noir's the plan soon starts to unravel and MacMurray ends up on a spiral down into the darkest recesses of the human mind.

Firing on all cylinders, despite or perhaps aided by the cheap blonde wig Stanwyck wears, the film is perfectly cast, tightly paced and delivers on all of its promises.

TOMORROW: More Noir, this time with Bogart.