4 Days Away With Wilder

Just back from the rural residence of friend and director Jamie Stone where a vast amount of quality time was spent creating minescapes that, quite frankly, will look ace on 16mm. What’s great about being in Torrance is that after a hard days graft, the crew eat a tremendous meal together then congregate in the lounge to watch a film on the projector….. forget plasma, PROJECTION is where it’s at, a true cinema experience. Anyway, one night everyone else had gone to bed and, being only 11pm, I decided to take in another flick. The choice was inspired, Billy Wilder’s DOUBLE INDEMNITY (1944). I’ve seen this film many, many times on dvd but never on such a big scale, it was trully amazing. The film stars Fred McMurray as Walter Neff, an insurance salesman who falls for his clients wife, the cold, steely Phyllis Dietrichson, played by Barbara Stanwyk. Edward G. Robinson is his usual fantastic self as Barton Keys, the bloodhound claims manager who can smell a bogus claim a mile off.
What’s great about this movie is you find out who the killer is within the first few minutes, there’s no great reveal at the end of the picture, no massive finale. The journey this film takes you on however is one of the greatest in cinema. How far will a guy go to get the girl? How evil can the lure of the dollar make people? If you’ve got an interest in discovering film noir, there’s no better place to start.

This clip that shows the first meeting between Walter Neff and Phyliss Deitrichson, I love the dialogue especially, why can’t you get away with it in real life?…….


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