Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Everything You Ever Need To Know About Life...

... you can learn from:

Phyllis: I'm a native Californian.
Born right here in Los Angeles.
Walter: They say all native Californians come from Iowa.

If Sunset Boulevard didn't exist I might have to say that Double Indemnity was the best script ever written. Still number two's not so bad, at least not if you're Walter Neff and it's Phyllis coming in at number one. Admittedly I'm not the world's biggest Film Noir fan -- I like it when I like it but I don't seek them out too often -- and I do know there are others that people love more but for my buck Double Indemnity's the best of them. And whaddya know, the best of them says me is hitting Criterion 4K blu-ray today. Buy it right here!

I've got this baby at home and baby, it's a beauty. (I apologize that I am smackin' my lips like a dame-blind gangster as I'm writing this post, but that dialogue's as infectious as, well, a dame.) Anyway speaking to what matters most -- this is a top five Stanwyck performance to boot. It's not my personal fave (which is probably The Lady Eve) but it's right there, in the top five. She's diabolically delicious. If you've never seen this man are you in for a treat, and if you have seen it man are you in for a second.


joel65913 said...

I am a huge noir fan, it might actually be my favorite genre. Double Indemnity is a masterwork but I wouldn't place it second after Sunset Blvd. when the inky black heart that is In a Lonely Place is right there. But it definitely belongs in any top 10 (and probably top 5) list of noir pictures.

Great script and superior direction but what makes it is the trio at its center. Both EGR and Fred MacMurray add untold depths but without Barbara Stanwyck's coldhearted Phyllis (even in that awful wig) the picture would be so much less. It's a real testament to her versatility that she went straight from this to the frothy charm of Christmas in Connecticut followed by the complex emotions of My Reputation (her personal favorite of her films). She was a wonder!

Anonymous said...

Jason, I'd love to know your list of Top Ten (or Five, or Three, or Twenty, whatever number you feel like, really) Best Scripts of All Time -- if you wanted to indulge me, of course.