Episode 262 – Double Indemnity (1944)

Well, we’re about halfway through our “Walk the Dark Street” series and Mike and I are learning things about film noir that we never imagined. We’ve learned hard lessons, rough lessons, painfully tight lessons . . . ok, this is going in a weird direction, but perhaps the most surprising thing we’ve learned is from this week’s Billy Wilder film, considered by many to the first film noir, and that is: forget about private eyes, forget about ex-cops or ex-spies. The hardest, nastiest, coldest guys with the sharpest edge are . . . insurance salesmen. That’s right, what use is a gat in the face of a skillfully wielded actuarial table? How many of you wouldn’t quail in the face of a detailed distribution of assets as valued in the previous tax year, including, but not limited to, personal property, annuities and general fiduciary responsibilities? These guys would make the strongest of us curl up and whimper. Phillip Marlowe and Sam Spade would run screaming into the night in the face of a table of policy holder’s rights and responsibility. Brrr. Makes me cold just thinking about it. And this movie has one of the sharpest, oiliest boys in the business . . . Fred MacMurray! That’s right, before old Fred invented Flubber or lived with His Three Sons, he romanced a tough-as-nails dame played by Barbara Stanwyck and went toe-to-toe with Edward G. Robinson. Give a listen and see what it’s like in barbed-wired-and-razor-blades world of . . . personal insurance! Dun dun DUUUUUNNNN!

Poll question: What was the worst movie viewing experience you ever had? Was it the movie, the venue, the patrons, or a combination of all three?

4 thoughts on “Episode 262 – Double Indemnity (1944)”

  1. I would have to say any movie seen in an airplane is the worst experience. The noise, interruptions, the poor sound and video quality and the films are often edited from the theatrical release. Maybe my worse in theatre experiences were Prometheus and Inland Empire, both for the same reasons. I went with friends hoping to see a good movie that was anything but and the disappointment from everyone else in the audience was palpable. Even if a movie is bad I can usually make comments that get people laughing so the experience goes from bad to fun. When I went to see “ the messenger” about Joan of Arc we lit cigarette lighters and declared to the other 5 people there “ if we burn her now, we don’t have to watch the rest of the movie!” I am sure stuff like that might make me some people’s worse experience!

    1. Didn’t see “Joan of Arc,” but I love your response to it! “Prometheus…” don’t get me started! Thanks, Vince!

  2. Oh gosh. I saw Shin Kamen Rider earlier this year with some friends and had the worst neighbour. He not only walked in almost half an hour late, he alternated falling asleep, talking on his phone, looking at his phone with the brightness turned all the way up, and singing along–at full blast–with Kamen Rider’s theme whenever it popped up in the score. He also spilled popcorn everywhere and took off his shoes. I guess that’s what me and my friend get for buying ourselves pre-movie cannolis and not grabbing any for our partners!

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