The protagonist cannot hear his steps, as if he were dead already. The greatest irony is that the crime which seemed to be perfect has been solved by the insurance company in order not to lose its money. The supporting character Keyes manages to outshine the main ones in some scenes. Anyway, there is one more reason to value this film – Barbara Stanwyck created an image of a femme fatale, who is impossible to forget.
Could Wilder fancy his adaptation of a non-fiction novella by J.Cain to become one of the brightest examples of film noir genre, though it failed to win at least one out of seven nominations for an Academy Award? It is doubtful. However, Double Indemnity is a classic of the genre possessing all its indispensable attributes – low-key lightning, monochromic visual style, flashback framing of the narrative, voiceover intrusions, tense atmosphere of fatalism and desperation, urban setting with its labyrinth of streets (even the drugstore seems to be a small labyrinth), well-developed archetypal characters.
The storyline is rather convoluted. Wilder understood the risk of letting the murderer confess his crime at the very beginning of the film – his hopes to hold viewer’s attention were put on the twists of the plot and constantly increasing tensions. Some elements of the storyline have many times been exploited by other directors working within this genre, that is why it may seem familiar or even predictable.
Dealing with insurances of any kinds, the protagonist lacks his own one in case of meeting a femme fatale. The consequences are voiced as the film begins “I didn’t get the money and I didn’t get the woman”. Perfectly elaborated dialogues cannot be left without attention – some phrases were destined to be quoted.
Film characters and their relationship become canonical. A fatal blond with a