Filed under: Film | Tags: Barbara Stanwyck, Billy Wilder, Double Indemnity, film noir, Fred MacMurray, Friday Night Flicks, James M. Cain, Raymond Chandler
So I’ve been away for awhile, as the paucity of posts indicates. To get back on the horse, I’m starting a new (hopefully) weekly feature showing film scenes that make me buzz.
To kick it off, here’s (fittingly) Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck in Double Indemnity (1944), the greatest film noir ever produced, with the creative holy trinity of Billy Wilder (director), James M. Cain (author of original novel) and Raymond Chandler (adaptive screenwriter).
This scene also includes some of the tightest dialogue ever written:
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.