Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Double Indemnity - AFI Greatest Movie #29


"Straight down the line, Baby.  Straight down the line."  Perfect plan.  Perfect execution.  Perfect murder.  Except that nothing is ever perfect.
In Double IndemnityAFI's 29th greatest film of all time, Fred MacMurray (the star from "My Three Sons") is swept into a murder plot by a beautiful woman who wants to be free from her overbearing husband.  As an insurance guy, he ought to know how to work the system, and he almost does - until his intuitive and nosy friend spots the one hole in their case.  From that point on, MacMurray begins to unravel in the style of Crime and Punishment.
All in all the point seems to be rather simple, crime (and selfishness) doesn't pay.  Theologically, you can almost see sin's creeping tentacles slowly wrap around MacMurray and pull him foot by foot into his own pit.
The closing scene is artistically brilliant in its reverse foil.  MacMurray's friend, who was always in need of a match, suddenly has one on hand and lights one last cigaret for MacMurray as he waits dying for both the ambulance and the police.
A classic crime and suspense tale, but not incredible.  The Josh rating: JJJ.
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