If you’ve ever looked into film noir, no doubt you’ve come across Double Indemnity. It’s often cited as one of the definitive examples of the genre. It actually transcends noir in my opinion and works effectively as a crime drama attracting a wider audience.
I won’t spend a lot of time focusing on the plot here, but if you’re not familiar it’s fairly simple. Walter Neff (played by the always likeable Fred MacMurrary) is an insurance salesman who one day by chance encounters Phyllis Dietrichson (in a noir defining role for Barabra Stanwyck). Dietrichson is married and the two go in on a plot together to murder her husband and collect the insurance money. As these movies usually go there ends up being a snag in the plan and everything begins to unravel.
Film Noir tends to be the genre of movies I lean toward, especially if I don’t have a particular movie in mind. The problem lies in the fact that I’ve seen a majority of the A+ must see essentials, so I have to dig through some of the lesser known gems. I keep a stack of dvds at the ready, sometimes I thumb through and will pick one based solely on their name, often times one word and menacing, “Conflict”, “Detour”, “Born To Kill” etc. Other times based on their glorious movie poster.
This time around I decided to watch “Singapore” a 1947 noir starring Fred MacMurray who was in the classic of the genre, Double Indemnity (and all you comic nerds out there he was who DC’s Captain Marvel was designed to look like) and the beautiful Ava Gardner. I was pleasantly surprised. It’s far from a classic, but if you’re in the mood for a lesser noir that still has something to offer it’s worth checking out.