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Double Indemnity 'Oops' Which I Never Saw Before.


lydecker
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Just got back from seeing the newly restored version of Double Indemnity.  Nothing like seeing a film you have always seen on a TV screen in the way it was intended to be viewed.  And, for the first time ever (and I must have seen this film at least 3 dozen times) I noticed that Fred McMurray's Walter Neff is wearing a wedding ring (correct hand, correct finger so it is clearly a wedding ring) throughout the entire film. Oops! Apparently this was first discovered in post production so it was too late to do anything about it. Billy, Billy.  How did you miss that one?

 

Lydecker

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Just got back from seeing the newly restored version of Double Indemnity.  Nothing like seeing a film you have always seen on a TV screen in the way it was intended to be viewed.  And, for the first time ever (and I must have seen this film at least 3 dozen times) I noticed that Fred McMurray's Walter Neff is wearing a wedding ring (correct hand, correct finger so it is clearly a wedding ring) throughout the entire film. Oops! Apparently this was first discovered in post production so it was too late to do anything about it. Billy, Billy.  How did you miss that one?

 

Maybe Fred refused to take it off? Jerry Lewis was notorious for this.

 

Larry Hovis of Hogan's Heroes also refused to remove his wedding ring -- as a result in many HH scenes he is wearing gloves.

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Maybe Fred refused to take it off? Jerry Lewis was notorious for this.

 

Well, if one is to believe IMDB it doesn't sound as though Fred refused to take it off  --  It was just there on his finger and nobody noticed it. A wedding ring becomes such a part of someone that it is easy to forget that it's even there.  I'm betting it was just a screw up.  Interestingly enough, IMDB claims that the first time it was noticed in post production was in the scene in Walter Neff's apartment where he kisses Phyllis. That's exactly where I first spotted it and then I looked for it in subsequent scenes.  Even the great directors  can miss a detail or two in creating a classic, I guess.

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Forgetting to take off a wedding ring is a little mistake that probably happened quite often. I read where David McCallum did that during some filmings of THE MAN FROM UNCLE tv series. "Illya" was a big time teen heart throb and he was single, a lot of   female fans saw the ring and it raised quite a stir among them.

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I first saw this movie on The Late Show on local TV about 60 years ago. I was a young teenager at the time, but I was drawn into the film by all the mystery and scheming of Barbara Stanwyck. It later became one of my favorite top-three noir films (along with The Third Man and Out of the Past).

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Maybe Fred refused to take it off? Jerry Lewis was notorious for this.

 

Larry Hovis of Hogan's Heroes also refused to remove his wedding ring -- as a result in many HH scenes he is wearing gloves.

 

Larry Hovis? Unbelievable!  May he RIP, but it's not like taking off your wedding ring means you're on your way to Divorce Court!

 

As to DI, it is truly a masterpiece.  @FredDobbs. I may have seen it there first as well, on one of the NYC stations, using the GWTW theme as its intro music...

 

I remember when I saw "Casablanca" during one of these "Fathom" screenings, and how it changed my perception of the film.  It is hard to imagine just how much we miss by not seeing them on the big screen as originally intended.  It can really alter your response to the lighting, sets and acting.

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You would think this was an occupational hazard, that must have happened occasionally. It would seem thst they would have some flunkie whose job was to make sure actors and.actresses did not wear wedding rings, if inappropriate, or other inappropriate articles.

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I guess I'm not observant enough to notice something like that. I don't think I'd have perceived Fred's ring even if I'd seen  Double Indemnity on the big screen.

But honestly, I don't think this is a big deal. Even if I had seen it on one of my many viewings of D.I., I probably wouldn't have given it much thought, maybe just considered the ring as some accessory Walter Neff favoured, like a particular tie or something. I wouldn't go "Omygod, is Walter married ? ! " and evidently nobody else has either.

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You would think this was an occupational hazard, that must have happened occasionally. It would seem thst they would have some flunkie whose job was to make sure actors and.actresses did not wear wedding rings, if inappropriate, or other inappropriate articles.

Yes but then they would have had to start a new union:  The American Association of Ring Removal Flunkies (AARRF) and studio management would have hated to have to pay them them their higher rate.

 

L

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I guess I'm not observant enough to notice something like that. I don't think I'd have perceived Fred's ring even if I'd seen  Double Indemnity on the big screen.

But honestly, I don't think this is a big deal. Even if I had seen it on one of my many viewings of D.I., I probably wouldn't have given it much thought, maybe just considered the ring as some accessory Walter Neff favoured, like a particular tie or something. I wouldn't go "Omygod, is Walter married ? ! " and evidently nobody else has either.

Oh, I don't think anyone could miss the ring thing when watching DI in a theatre.  It's right in your face.  And, there is just something much more compelling about watching any great film on the "big screen."  You notice things that passed you by before. Such as . . ."Why didn't the guy who was clearly shadowing Phyllis when she goes to the market follow her in there to confirm who the 'somebody else' was?" Oh, I get it!  If he had done that, we would have missed Fred's great confessional speech!

 

Didn't for a moment think: "OMG, Walter Neff is married."  I immediately assumed it was Fred MacMurray's wedding ring and he forgot to take it off while shooting.  Doesn't hurt the film one iota but it is fun to make note of it.

 

Lydecker

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Looking at this logically--Do you think Phyllis is going to let a little matter like whether the guy is married or not stop her?  She's already got him to agree to killing her husband--a wedding ring's not going to stop her!  We can guess that she doesn't want to marry Walter Neff afterwards.  A wedding ring's a minor inconvenience to her.  Stanwyck's character is cold as ice, ethically--she literally doesn't give a ****, as long as she gets her way.

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Just got back from seeing the newly restored version of Double Indemnity.  Nothing like seeing a film you have always seen on a TV screen in the way it was intended to be viewed.  And, for the first time ever (and I must have seen this film at least 3 dozen times) I noticed that Fred McMurray's Walter Neff is wearing a wedding ring (correct hand, correct finger so it is clearly a wedding ring) throughout the entire film. Oops! Apparently this was first discovered in post production so it was too late to do anything about it. Billy, Billy.  How did you miss that one?

 

Lydecker

You ,mean it can't be seen when watching the film on TV?

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You ,mean it can't be seen when watching the film on TV?

Probably can but I never noticed it before and I have seen the film dozens of times.  Amazing how seeing a film in the theatre gives you a new perspective on it.  Though I have always loved the stellar John Seitz lighting of this film, I really appreciated it seeing it on the big screen yesterday.  Also, for the first time ever, I walked out of the theatre thinking DI is really Fred MacMurray's film.  Stanwyck and Robinson are incredible, too (for my money, it is Robinson's best performance ever) but, from beginning to end, (literally) it is Walter Neff's fall from grace.  MacMurray does an amazing job.

 

Lydecker

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Looking at this logically--Do you think Phyllis is going to let a little matter like whether the guy is married or not stop her?  She's already got him to agree to killing her husband--a wedding ring's not going to stop her!  We can guess that she doesn't want to marry Walter Neff afterwards.  A wedding ring's a minor inconvenience to her.  Stanwyck's character is cold as ice, ethically--she literally doesn't give a ****, as long as she gets her way.

And, she clearly needed the money to buy herself a better blonde wig.

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The other blooper in the film is that the door to Walter's apartment opens outward, not inward, but Phyllis needed something to hide behind...

That's probably the goof that most people noticed. A "willing suspension of disbelief" on the part of the viewers was called for here.

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And, she clearly needed the money to buy herself a better blonde wig.

That hairstyle is part of an homage to Marlene Dietrich's femme fatale image (Dietrichson). It was inspired by a Dietrich hairstyle worn a couple of years earlier, in one of her Universal actioners (SEVEN SINNERS?).

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I remember when I saw "Casablanca" during one of these "Fathom" screenings, and how it changed my perception of the film.  It is hard to imagine just how much we miss by not seeing them on the big screen as originally intended.  It can really alter your response to the lighting, sets and acting.

 

I remember reading in a TV/film book years ago that said most TV shows use more close-ups than films do, because the TV screen is so small. Also, the wide shots in films are usually much wider than wide shots on TV shows, for the same reason. So, we can see more details in film than in TV shows, since the film screen is so much larger.

 

SAN FRANCISCO, 1936. This wide scene was directed by D.W. Griffith:

 

san-francisco-1936-spencer-tracy-clark-g

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Isn't there an 'oops' in BEN HUR, where an actor is wearing a wrist watch?  That might be a rather common occurrence , especially with  the extras and bit players in a scene.  

That's happened more often than you might think. I've seen it several times in epics. I can't remember, which film it was, but I remember one scene where you could plainly see somebody in the ancient crowd holding a bull horn. It was probably an assistant director, in costume, so he could  blend  in with  the extras and give them instructions...well almost blend in.

 

Of course, even if something like that is spotted during post-production, I can't imagine any director saying to the studio boss "sorry chief, that fourth slave on the left is wearing a watch so I've got to get those 20,000 extras and 5,000 horses back for a retake."

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That hairstyle is part of an homage to Marlene Dietrich's femme fatale image (Dietrichson). It was inspired by a Dietrich hairstyle worn a couple of years earlier, in one of her Universal actioners (SEVEN SINNERS?).

I don't know . . .  I kind of agree with what production head Buddy DeSylva said about the wig as he viewed the rushes:  "We hired Barbara Stanwyck and we get George Washington."

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Looking at this logically--Do you think Phyllis is going to let a little matter like whether the guy is married or not stop her?  She's already got him to agree to killing her husband--a wedding ring's not going to stop her!  We can guess that she doesn't want to marry Walter Neff afterwards.  A wedding ring's a minor inconvenience to her.  Stanwyck's character is cold as ice, ethically--she literally doesn't give a ****, as long as she gets her way.

Maybe Neff wore a wedding ring for business purposes, to get his sales targets to think that he was a stable family man.

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