But there's another story in "Double Indemnity," and it really is a love story. Insurance salesman Walter Neff and his boss Barton Keyes, played by Edward G. Even before the "accident" we begin to feel that their relationship is cooling, maybe. Double Indemnity y as the title reveals, is set in the insurance business. The relationship between Neff and Keyes would seem to be an . God, king, or patron. Double Indemnity (film) Double Indemnity is a film noir crime drama Keyes tells Neff of his theory outside Neff's apartment, while Phyllis hides behind the door. . This relationship with Chandler is what drew Wilder to his next project, the .. hear him, "What the hell does the Academy Award mean, for God's sake?.
Chandler, an alcoholic, was sober at the time the collaboration began, and was annoyed that Wilder would drink around him. At one point, Chandler drafted a memo to the studio listing his various grievances with his writing partner, including the fact that Wilder wore his trademark hat indoors.
He was a very, very good writer—but not of scripts.
10 Fascinating Facts About Double Indemnity | Mental Floss
After the project had weathered the Production Code and the laborious screenwriting process, Wilder hit even more snags when it came to casting. Wilder said no lapel moment was forthcoming, so Raft turned him down. Wilder then approached Fred MacMurray, an actor then best known for lighter fare. He wanted Barbara Stanwyck—then the highest-paid actress in Hollywood—to play the role of seductress and murderess Phyllis Dietrichson. Stanwyck was a serious, acclaimed actress with two Oscar nominations to her name already, but the idea of playing such a dark role was intimidating to her.
Wilder appealed to her competitive nature, and asked"Well, are you a mouse or an actress?
Double Indemnity (film)
One executive at Paramount, after seeing some early footage, commented: I can't reshoot four weeks of stuff. I've committed myself; the mistake was caught too late. Fortunately it did not hurt the picture. But it was too thick, we were not very clever about wig-making.
That was my intention.
Some Like It Not: The Key to Successful Relationships in the Films of Billy Wilder
And help her cash in on the double indemnity payment. In the movie's last scene with Phyllis and Walter, she is seated in that same living room with Walter hovering over her 6. There is none of the sexual tension we felt in those earlier scenes. Their plan to see that her husband has a fatal accident has to be perfect, so there'll be no more lovers' trysts.
Their rendezvous take place in grocery stores, Phyllis looking like the proper housewife 5. Even before the "accident" we begin to feel that their relationship is cooling, maybe Neff is no longer getting sex; maybe he sees another side to Phyllis: Walter Neff knows perhaps unconsciously at first that as he becomes entangled in Phyllis's web he is drawing further away from Keyes, not simply because he's defrauding the insurance company Keyes has given his life to, but he is betraying a deep friendship which will lead to their ultimate separation.
Facing the retributive wave of his sociopathic overtures to desire, Neff mercifully gives the young couple the chance to reclaim their own relationship. Sex can spell disaster if its promise is followed through on: A fraud investigator is spying on them, and revealing the truth is tantamount to blowing a fortune. Harry may get momentarily mired in nostalgic reverie for a vibrant relationship that never really was, but Wilder has already drawn a portrait of Sandy for us to chew on: Sandy echoes an anonymous, alienating sex that feels more functional and invokes either a somnambulant state or need for cleansing than an expression of love.
The Fortune Cookie A note about suicide: When it finally seeps into Fran that her illicit affair with Sheldrake will never result in them actually being together, she looks to suicide to purge her pain. The characters — good-hearted, essentially decent folks — are cosmically positioned to find a healthier, more inspiring connection down the road.
Wilder rewards the ardently hapless, allowing for the intervention of fate to trigger subsequent emotional clarity.
Double Indemnity (film) | Revolvy
The karmic resolutions that Wilder spins are satisfying enough — the audience knows the couples are fated to be together long before the characters do — to dispel the notion that sexual consummation is a required part of the process, for the characters or for us.
Sex remains an afterthought, a low priority need. During stridulation, the male hump-winged grig, a cricket-like insect, rubs its forewings together to create a siren mating call in hopes of attracting a female. After dazzling his eyes and loins, Phyllis lures Walter Neff through interconnected train cars of passion-fueled machinations, inciting him bit by bit to sacrifice his humanity in the name of her freedom. Here, the camera pans to the smirking Phyllis, remaining resolutely focused on her throughout the offscreen murder.
He has finished serving his purpose for Phyllis, another mantis for the pile. Nestor is fired within the harsh, geometric angularity of the Paris precinct, and while the chief barks and demoralizes him, his once-intransigent baton flops flaccidly in his fist. The function and meaning of the hotel room, a home away from home for Irma where she and Lord X will forge a sincere bond, transfigures over the course of the film — it percolates with manipulation, converging identities, and then genuine, actual feeing — but the Lord X persona is adamant about avoiding sex there, citing an old war injury for his current impotence; so, in an effort to continue the impotence act in these domains, Nestor has become impotent.
And not unlike the hump-winged grig, Wilder chomped at the bit to bend the architecture and poetry of his production design to reveal essential truths about his characters. Boyle, as in Irma, for forced perspective sets that utilized background layering and miniaturesroutinely seek to emasculate Baxter. As he moves up the executive ladder, he moves off the floor and ever closer to the icily immoral center of the corporate web where, incidentally, the higher-ups play fast and loose in their relationships with women.
Each new office finds Baxter blitzed by an unexpected, disconcerting layer of truth regarding Fran and his own desires. Although Wilder would be the first to say he abhorred camera pyrotechnics or anything that would call attention to the director outside of an elegant setup, he was apt to design compositions that were quite technically complex and psychologically illuminating.
The scene plays out in the living room and Wilder lets the camera rest on Harry rather than intercutting between him and Sandy, illuminating only his increasingly enraptured countenance at being in her company. Boom Boom and Harry Boom Boom, visually and emotionally, is never far from his thoughts, his true kindred spirit in a way the sultry, wan Sandy never could be.
Willie telephones Harry to dissuade him from getting frisky with Sandy, while behind him his home is clamorous and chaotic. Willie has long ago lost touch with the tones and rhythms, however off-kilter, of his family. Baxter rents out his Manhattan apartment to the executives above him looking to carry on secret affairs. For these dubious men — portrayed as weaselly, giggling frat boys, never seemingly engaged in actual crucial work or positions of integrity, domestic or otherwise — extramarital sex on the way up the corporate ladder is akin to a casual tennis lunch.
Joe Dobisch Ray Walstontoo, is in an existential, not to mention physical, hurry: