Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Double Indemnity

I admire when Billy Wilder ventures into comedy (The Apartment, Some Like It Hot) because I know you're gonna get a good laugh. But when he does drama (The Lost Weekend, Sunset Boulevard), I'm just as entertained.

Insurance salesman Walter Neff (Fred MacMurray) becomes entangled in a plot to murder the husband of Phyllis Dietrichson (Barbara Stanwyck) for money. The scheme goes perfectly. Perhaps too perfectly as Neff's colleague Barton Keyes (Edward G. Robinson) grows suspicious of the supposed accidental death.

I like the tense feeling throughout the movie, as well as the screenplay Wilder co-wrote with Raymond Chandler. MacMurray and Stanwyck deliver the performances of their careers with this. Along with comedy, film noir is one genre Billy Wilder is a master of.

My Rating: *****

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