40 – Double Indemnity (1944)


Director: Billy Wilder Starring: Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck Running time: 107 mins.

Subject: When will men in film noirs realise that the correct response to an attractive/rich/beguiling woman attempting to draw them into deep shit is, “I left some pasta on the hob. It must be boiling by now. Must dash!” Of course, the answer is never. This is a world where the lead character has sublimated dark urges and it takes only the lightning rod of female charms to bring them to life. Or death. I’m being snappy, just like Walter Neff, the insurance salesman with a smart mouth and a stupid heart.

Like: Watching a lemming walk off a cliff.

Core truth: If you can’t live the dream, make the nightmare look and sound sharp.


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