For this month’s finale review for Genre Grandeur – Crime Films, here’s a review of Double Indemnity (1944) by Dan of Slipthrough Movies
Thanks again to Dan of Slipthrough Movies for choosing this month’s genre.
If you missed any of them, here’s a recap:
This month we had 11 reviews for GG:
- The Departed (2006) – Reut
- The Usual Suspects (1995) – SG
- The Usual Suspects (1995) – Darren
- Le Samourai (1967) – Dan
- The Legend of Lizzie Borden (1975) – Summer
- The Untouchables (1987) – Rob
- Now You See Me (2013) – Kim
- Badlands (1973) – Damien
- L.A. Confidential (1997) – Rob
- Election (2005) – Kim
- Double Indemnity (1944) – Dan
Thanks to everyone who participated this month!
In addition, I watched and reviewed 5 additional movies from this genre for my Genre Guesstimation series. Unfortunately, only one of them will be now included in my own favorites of the genre.
- The Great Train Robbery (1979)
- *Ruthless People (1987)
- 21 (2008)
- Two-Minute Warning (1976)
- Internal Affairs (1990)
Next month’s Genre has been chosen by Drew of Drew’s Movie Reviews We will be reviewing our favorite Heist Movies.
Please get me your submissions by the 25th of March by sending them to firstname.lastname@example.org Try to think out of the box! Great choice Drew!
Let’s see what Dan thought of this movie:
This is your traditional film noir — and perhaps the best of the sub-genre. Crime films today are still influenced by this black and white masterpiece. Familiar tropes like the femme fatale, hard boiled narration, and flashback structure were established here.
The story involves an insurance investigator (Fred MacMurray) who falls under the spell of a beautiful woman (the stunning Barbara Stanwyck – old school classic beauty) who’s orchestrating an elaborate scam. The storytelling is impeccable, keeping you glued to your seat, based on a novel by the grandfather of film noir / detective novels, Raymond Chandler. The crackling screenplay comes from the best writer Hollywood has ever had, Billy Wilder (who also directs!). Part of a different time, the acting and dialogue may feel a little old-fashioned from a contemporary point of view, but once you acclimatize you’re in for some incredible performances.
Film noir is one of my all time favourite genres, from the classic Black & Whites to more modern visions like Quentin Tarantino and Martin Scorsese. Crime films are always fascinating because they explore the dark underbelly of society. The audience (perhaps) subconsciously wants to see these characters succeed despite breaking the law. Most of us would never even entertain the idea of crime in our day-to-day lives, but movies let us experience the bleeding edges of society.
Aside from subtle commentary, noirs are usually rather stylishly, especially regarding the cinematography. DOUBLE INDEMNITY set the bar with its photography, just as well as it did with its screenplay. Nowadays, there are so many more exciting and visceral options for entertainment (a.k.a. movies back then had no ratings, whereas now we can have BASIC INSTINCT style femme fatales, as well as harsher language and brutal violence), but every now and again it’s essential to reach back into cinematic history and experience the best the medium has to offer.
Today, with the 1000s of movies that get released each year can’t hold a flame to the best of all time. Break out of your comfort zone and check out what film was up to decades before you were even born. DOUBLE INDEMNITY is a great excuse to get started (or remind yourself).
NERD ALERT: Co-stars screen legend Edward G. Robinson.