That’s not this classic movie’s title, but it sure could be. The line is from “Double Indemnity” which is the standard-setting film noir of 1944, and is the Classic Movie shown in January in Bigfork. When a lonely housewife wants her husband dead and lots of money to boot, what better partner can she have than an insurance salesman? But things don’t work out as they both planned. Starring Barbara Stanwyck, Fred MacMurray, and Edward G. Robinson, the movie earned seven Academy Award nominations and was added to the U.S. Library of Congress’ list of "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant motion pictures.” In 1992, it was selected for preservation by the National Film Registry, and is on the American Film Institute’s list of 100 best. Showing January 9. Time 6:30PM. Cost Free.
Walter Neff may be a successful insurance salesman, but he’s an easy fall guy. He suspects Phyllis Dietrichson is thinking about murdering her husband, but Walter falls for her anyway. Played by Fred MacMurray, this insurance agent should have locked his door when she came calling.
Frederick Martin "Fred" MacMurray (August 30, 1908 – November 5, 1991) appeared in more than 100 films, recorded a song, and had the role of his career in TV’s “My Three Sons.” He was Hollywood’s highest paid actor in 1943 and was most often cast as a lighthearted good guy. But when cast as a dark bad guy, he excelled and really showed his versatility.
Phyllis Dietrichson was as bad as they get. Choosing murder and money as a way out of a marriage is bad enough, but to bring nice guy Walter down with her is dark. One could say he went in with his eyes wide open, but Phyllis was a difficult dish not to try.
Played by Barbara Stanwyck, Phyllis makes a very evil plan sound very convincing, once she has Walter just where she wants him. Barbara Stanwyck (born Ruby Catherine Stevens; July 16, 1907 – January 20, 1990) had a 60-year career and was known for her very professional portrayals on stage, in movies, and on TV. In 38 years of Hollywood work, she was in 85 films, won three of her four Oscar nominations, three Emmy awards, and a Golden Globe. The American Film Institute ranks Barbara as the 11th greatest female star of all time.
Barton Keyes is an insurance investigator you certainly don’t want on your trail. He is played by Edward Goldenberg Robinson (December 12, 1893 – January 26, 1973), who is best known for his gangster roles as a tough guy who did not show much mercy.
Forever remembered as Rico in his breakout film, “Little Caesar,” he was posthumously awarded an Honorary Academy Award for his work in the film industry shortly after his death. Even though he will always be the bad tough guy in most viewer’s minds, his last role as Sol Roth in “Soylent Green” was outstanding and one of this writer’s favorites.
The film “Double Indemnity,” directed by Billy Wilder, co-written by Wilder and Raymond Chandler (above), and produced by Buddy DeSylva and Joseph Sistrom, has certainly passed the test of time. The movie’s screenplay is based on a novella by James M. Cain also titled “Double Indemnity.” The story appeared as an eight-part serial in Liberty Magazine in 1936. The movie’s dark dialog inspired two radio plays and a film remake.
Come and see all the drama at The Edge Center’s Classic Movie Series shown by Jack and Lynn Nachbar on Thursday January 9th. Time 6:30PM. Jack Nachbar’s presentation will make you knowledgeable about this movie so you can enjoy it more. You also get to see the cartoon from the same period and enjoy snacks. All this is free of charge.