Saturday, April 11, 2009

Double Indemnity

When Ms T and I were away in Greece we read a short novel called 'Double Indemnity' by James M Cain. It's pretty brief but the story of the crooked insurance salesman and his murderous girlfriend exercises a real grip seven decades after the author came up with it. A few years after it saw the light Billy Wilder and Raymond Chandler turned it into a movie - and even though it was made in 1944 it's still a scorcher, as I found out when I dragged myself out of bed after a night shift and put it in the DVD.

Barbara Stanwyck, who plays the adulterous killer got one of the movies seven Oscar nominations. Time hasn't blunted her erotic force; in this film she's hot, end of. She spends most of the film in a blonde wig and an anklet which exercises a fatal sexual pull on the hapless Fred MacMurray. And infact she carries the film, although Edward G Robinson as an insurance analyst is also pretty good. When I saw the date of production I wrongly assumed it had been scooped by Gone with the Wind, but no, another movie called 'Going My Way' - a Bing Crosby vehicle - swept the board. Heard of that film? No, neither have I. Double Indemnity is better written up on an excellent blog called Modern Times, and hat tip to them for the poster I've put on the top of this entry.

Ms Stanwyck got her due in the end. On Youtube you can see her get her honorary award from the Academy, presented by a terribly young John Travolta.

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