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Joe Gillis

Double Indemnity Query

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OK.  So I recently saw Double Indemnity for probably the 20th time and for the very first time something really bothered me. Walter Neff is "on to" Phyllis Dietrichson's scheme pretty much immediately:  "Who'd you think I was anyway?  The guy who walks into a dame's front parlor and says:  Good afternoon, I sell accident insurance on husbands.  You got one that's been around too long?" Walter is not an idiot and he clearly knows the score, including what Phyllis is all about.  Yet, we are supposed to believe that in a very, very short period of time (less than 24 hours later??) after telling her off he is suddenly totally onboard with killing her husband because he's so passionate about her??  I don't know.  It seems like a big stretch to me.  At least, let her work on him a week or so!  I realize that movies have to compress time and this is such an incredible noir that we just go along for the ride but it is a bit hard to believe that Walter would make such a dramatic turnaround in such a short time.  Has this ever bothered anybody else??

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29 minutes ago, AndreaDoria said:

Never underestimate the power of a really hot ankle bracelet.

 

At least that's what Billy Wilder thinks.

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Well, since I find Phyllis as about as attractive as my Aunt Hortense I never understood Neff's attraction to her. And that cheap looking blonde wig didn't help.

I still think it's a great film, though, since, as they say, beauty is in the . . . well, you know.

DSC_4165.jpg

"I wonder if rubbing Farina all over me will make my skin glow. I want to look extra nice for Walter tonight."

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After multiple viewings of the film, I've taken to the idea that Walter is less about Phyllis and more about showing his boss, Barton Keyes, that he doesn't always have the answer. He wanted to commit the perfect crime and watch Keyes try to figure it out.  I took his narration/confession as Walter's "ha ha I showed you" type response. 

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Just now, Dr. Somnambula said:

Guess I need to watch the film. That sure looks like Steve Martin.

You should watch the film.  That scene is from Steve Martin's send up of noir, Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid.  

As much as I love Barbara Stanwyck, Martin is wearing the wig better than she did.

In the actual film, Double Indemnity, the two grocery store scenes are a couple of my favorite parts of the movie.

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1 minute ago, Dr. Somnambula said:

Guess I need to watch the film. That sure looks like Steve Martin.

I'm not sure if you're joking but it is him in "Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid."

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1 hour ago, AndreaDoria said:

Never underestimate the power of a really hot ankle bracelet.

 

9GkWdUk.jpg?1

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5 minutes ago, Dr. Somnambula said:

Guess I need to watch the film. That sure looks like Steve Martin.

Stanwyck does have a striking resemblance to Martin.

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11 minutes ago, TomJH said:

Stanwyck does have a striking resemblance to Martin.

I didn't realize where that image was from. I have seen Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid.

Barbara always had magnificent legs. Steve wears shorts in The Muppet Movie.

01-martin-themuppetmovie.jpg?1384968217

I rest my case.

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The thing that bothers me after my 20th viewing is Barton Keyes talking about the woman he loved and almost married -- until he found out she dyed her hair and had a mentally ill person in the family.  Jerk.

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Just now, Dr. Somnambula said:

I didn't realize where that image was from. I have seen Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid.

Barbara always had magnificent legs. Steve wears shorts in The Muppet Movie.

01-martin-themuppetmovie.jpg?1384968217

I rest my case.

I thought that Steve was really rocking his shorts suit. 

"Oh may I?"

"Sparkling Muscatel, one of the finest wines from Idaho." 

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18 minutes ago, Dr. Somnambula said:

I didn't realize where that image was from. I have seen Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid.

Barbara always had magnificent legs. Steve wears shorts in The Muppet Movie.

01-martin-themuppetmovie.jpg?1384968217

I rest my case.

I suspect Martin's legs were a little less hairy.

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6 minutes ago, speedracer5 said:

I thought that Steve was really rocking his shorts suit. 

"Oh may I?"

"Sparkling Muscatel, one of the finest wines from Idaho." 

My nephew is your age. When he was pretty young, I had this movie on disc. He would visit and want to see it again and again. He is a certifiable Muppet fan. I need this one on disc again. It has a massive cast of cameos.

For Double Indemnity, Piggy already has the hair. Here she is in shades in Manhattan.

die-muppets-erobern-manhattan-muppets-ta

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I had The Muppet Movie on VHS.  I cannot recall if I've ever upgraded to a DVD/Blu Ray. I'm not an obsessive Muppet fan, but I do enjoy this film--mostly for all the cameos. I also find the puppetry fascinating, especially Kermit riding the bicycle.  I think the Muppets also made the only version of "A Christmas Carol" that I care to watch.  (I'm honestly so sick of that story, I would be fine never seeing/hearing it again). 

"A frog and a bear.  Seeing America." 

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Yes, Phyllis was rotten to the core ... but terrific to the infantry. That's a joke that sounds better than it reads.

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35 minutes ago, scsu1975 said:

Yes, Phyllis was rotten to the core ... but terrific to the infantry. That's a joke that sounds better than it reads.

LOL

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3 hours ago, AndreaDoria said:

Never underestimate the power of a really hot ankle bracelet.

 

I blame the can'd beans:

grocery+2+%252B+Double+Indemnity+%252B+B

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5 hours ago, speedracer5 said:

After multiple viewings of the film, I've taken to the idea that Walter is less about Phyllis and more about showing his boss, Barton Keyes, that he doesn't always have the answer. He wanted to commit the perfect crime and watch Keyes try to figure it out.  I took his narration/confession as Walter's "ha ha I showed you" type response. 

That is a really interesting idea.  Not sure I agree but I sure never thought of that angle.

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17 hours ago, speedracer5 said:

After multiple viewings of the film, I've taken to the idea that Walter is less about Phyllis and more about showing his boss, Barton Keyes, that he doesn't always have the answer. He wanted to commit the perfect crime and watch Keyes try to figure it out.  I took his narration/confession as Walter's "ha ha I showed you" type response. 

Interesting take, Speedy, though I find it difficult to agree. Walter would risk going to the chair just to see if he could outwit Keyes? Besides Walter liked and respected Keyes.

Walter did it, I think, because he's into Steve Martin lookalike broads.

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3 hours ago, TomJH said:

Interesting take, Speedy, though I find it difficult to agree. Walter would risk going to the chair just to see if he could outwit Keyes? Besides Walter liked and respected Keyes.

Walter did it, I think, because he's into Steve Martin lookalike broads.

I originally was thinking that he was seduced by Phyllis, but then I had the same thought as the OP, in that how could Walter fall for Phyllis so easily when he seemed to be on to her from the get go. 

I can see it from both sides.  I just bought James M Cain's novel of Double Indemnity. I wanted to read it to see how the original story differed from the film.  I know that the names are different.  Phyllis, I think is "Phyllis Nerdlinger" or something terrible like that.  

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2 minutes ago, speedracer5 said:

I originally was thinking that he was seduced by Phyllis, but then I had the same thought as the OP, in that how could Walter fall for Phyllis so easily when he seemed to be on to her from the get go. 

I can see it from both sides.  I just bought James M Cain's novel of Double Indemnity. I wanted to read it to see how the original story differed from the film.  I know that the names are different.  Phyllis, I think is "Phyllis Nerdlinger" or something terrible like that.  

I read the Cain novel years ago. Though I can't remember any of it now I know that my reaction to it at the time was very positive. I was also into a lot of the Raymond Chandler books, as well.

“There was a desert wind blowing that night. It was one of those hot dry Santa Anas that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch. On nights like that every booze party ends in a fight. Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husbands' necks. Anything can happen. You can even get a full glass of beer at a cocktail lounge.”

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8 minutes ago, TomJH said:

I read the Cain novel years ago. Though I can't remember any of it now I know that my reaction to it at the time was very positive. I was also into a lot of the Raymond Chandler books, as well.

“There was a desert wind blowing that night. It was one of those hot dry Santa Anas that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch. On nights like that every booze party ends in a fight. Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husbands' necks. Anything can happen. You can even get a full glass of beer at a cocktail lounge.”

Ooh I love that description. I love good writing that refrains from being flowery.

I know that James M Cain loved Billy Wilder's ending to Double Indemnity better than his. So it'd be interesting to read the original ending.

I bought this James M Cain trilogy that contains Mildred Pierce, The Postman Always Rings Twice, and Double Indemnity. I read Mildred Pierce.  I'm looking forward to the other two.

Speaking of noir... I haven't finished Nightmare Alley, I purchased my own copy.  My husband and I are in a two-person Nightmare Alley book club, so that we can read it before Guillermo Del Toro's movie comes out. 

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