After watching this film I am reminded of that beloved Lano and Woodley scene (for those of you unfamiliar with Lano & Woodley, they’re like a modern day Abbot and Costello)…
Frank: You know, the actor guy! Oh, what is his name? See, the thing is… the thing is… the thing is that when I say his name, you’ll go, ‘YES! The actor guy, love him, adore him… ‘ But I can’t think of his name. It’s on the tip of my tongue. You know who I mean – he’s got the hair… the eyes… a bit of a nose… and a mouth and it’s all held together with… like a FACE!
That’s how I felt when I saw the lead actor in this film.
But, it wasn’t “The actor guy” (Gregory Peck). It was my old mate Fred MacMurray again! That guy is a chameleon I’m telling you.
ANYWAY, you’ll all be pleased to know that I’ve found yet another film that I actually enjoyed!
In fact, I knew I was going to like this film the minute the opening credits started rolling…
A darkened silhouette complete with coat and hat hobbles on crutches towards the camera. I was immediately enraptured and intrigued (sure, I’d had a glass of wine but if those old-time movie makers know anything it’s how to create genuine suspense!) The film open with our hero displaying a gunshot wound to the shoulder! Bam! Like that, I was hooked.
And the lines! Oh the lines! They don’t write them like this anymore people…
Phyllis: I was just fixing some ice tea; would you like a glass?
Walter Neff: Yeah, unless you got a bottle of beer that’s not working.
Barton Keyes: I picked you for the job, not because I think you’re so darn smart, but because I thought you were a shade less dumb than the rest of the outfit. Guess I was wrong. You’re not smarter, Walter… you’re just a little taller.
Edward S. Norton: That witness from the train, what was his name?
Barton Keyes: His name was Jackson. Probably still is.
I actually found myself uttering “Oh snap!” at the TV more than once.
Oh, and of course there’s the lightning-pace love story…
Phyllis: Mr. Neff, why don’t you drop by tomorrow evening about eight-thirty. He’ll be in then.
Walter Neff: Who?
Phyllis: My husband. You were anxious to talk to him weren’t you?
Walter Neff: Yeah, I was, but I’m sort of getting over the idea, if you know what I mean.
Phyllis: There’s a speed limit in this state, Mr. Neff. Forty-five miles an hour.
Walter Neff: How fast was I going, officer?
Phyllis: I’d say around ninety.
Walter Neff: Suppose you get down off your motorcycle and give me a ticket.
Phyllis: Suppose I let you off with a warning this time.
Walter Neff: Suppose it doesn’t take.
Phyllis: Suppose I have to whack you over the knuckles.
Walter Neff: Suppose I bust out crying and put my head on your shoulder.
Phyllis: Suppose you try putting it on my husband’s shoulder.
Walter Neff: That tears it.
And the kissing scenes! Oh, the kissing scenes! Overly anxious and thoroughly offensive (think Kath & Kel). In fact, at one stage I was almost certain Phyllis was going to start pashing the telephone!
Once again, I’ve had to rate the movie in the context of its time (a time where, as my sister pointed out last night, they might take forever just showing someone walking from one room to the next). The plot, however, is a real classic and the somewhat surprise ending “to die” (as my sister might also say).
Have you seen ‘Double Indemnity’? Do you agree with my review? Let me know in the comments below.