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?